Time to Change

If you an authentic person, if you want to use your natural skills to connect with others, this article is for you, please continue reading! 

When networking we are often asked to introduce ourselves to the group with our elevator pitch. ‘Elevator Pitch’ [and sometimes called ‘elevator Speech’] is a short, persuasive speech, designed and rehearsed to sell something to somebody. The theory is it has to be brief or you’ll lose their interest; it has to be pithy so they will remember you.It is called ‘Elevator’ pitch since it’s length is of an elevator ride.

I am sure you met, more than once, these people who rehearsed their ‘Elevator Pitch’, so when they execute it in a networking event is sound so artificial, and they saying it like as if it were a piece of poetry or a known novel. Repeating the exact same message is consistent, but doesn’t deepen my connection with the other person. Moreover, in many occasions the elevator pitch turn to be very boring, off point and not effective. 

Elevator Pitch may work in one-time deliveries but in networking, when we suppose to real interact with others, listen to them, to their needs and how can you be of value to them, we don’t want well scripted and delivered monologues. I prefer to be authentic and in the moment, because it is what I prefer to hear from others.

As a matter of fact, many times these sort of planned pitches create the opposite affect – the demand to get attention. While networking and connecting with other people It’s about them, and how you can be of service.

When researching the subject and why Elevator Pitch really matters, I came across the book of Lorraine Howell, named “Give Your Elevator Speech a Lift!”. In this book Lorraine is referring to the fact that most elevator pitches fail:

 “The reason why most elevator pitches fail, hence creating backlash, is because people are usually talking about the process, or how they do what they do, instead of the results. A good elevator pitch lets people know how you make a difference, or what benefit you provide. As the old saying goes “If I ask you what time it is, don’t tell me how the watch works!” And most elevator speeches are about how the watch works.” 

I believe it is time for a change. Pitching does not work anymore. Sharing your message, giving your attention to others with authenticity is the real tool to connect with other people. Learning to turn your ‘Attention Switch’ ON, right from the beginning of the conversation will make the difference. 

Nowadays, there is so much clutter and the attention span is very short that it is essential for a person or a company to listen to its audience and learn what they need before launching into a short-sighted and self-serving elevator pitch that may completely miss the mark.

This simple act of giving attention to others and really listening to them is more powerful than any other elevator pitch I ever heard. When you listen deeply, even in an elevator, when you’re more interested in helping than in getting, a great things will start to happen in your life. It is powerful, still persuasive, and definitely compelling – since it fits for the way we speak, engage and interact today.

In his book, “To Sell Is Human,” bestselling author Daniel Pink argues that there are two major reasons that ‘Elevator Pitch’ time is passed.

First, in our days an employee can meet and encounter the CEO of the company not only in the elevator. Organizations are more democratic. The interaction between lower level employee and the CEO can be done also during staff meetings; via email etc.

Moreover, it is no longer necessary to hope or plan to share an elevator with the person who has the authority to hire/promote you. Technology and Social networking have opened new doors for us to connect with one another. Today’s summary statement on an effective LinkedIn profile is essentially yesterday’s elevator pitch.

Second, everyone — CEOs especially — faces a massive amount of information. So if you need to shine and stand out, you need to use new and better strategies.

Pink offers few suggestions to replace the elevator pitch. Let me summarize the main ones for you and add to them the Attention ingredient – the need to listen to others and give them your attention: 

1. The one-word Attention pitch

As mentioned also in my book: ‘The Attention Switch’ [Get your copy NOW at: www.attentionswitch.com] Attention spans are so short these days, so try to use one word and deliver it with force. Trust me if you use one word that powerful idea or credibility behind it, it can go farther than many words.

2. The question Attention pitch

The best way to show another person that you are interested in them and listen to them is to ask great questions [see my video on this subject HERE]. Questions pack a big punch. A question requires a response. Thus, it obliges the other person to process and think about your information and to believe in it more strongly.

3. The rhyming Attention pitch

Rhymes are easy to understand, so we unconsciously see them as more accurate, and they stick in our minds. Rhymes increase “processing fluency”. For example – ‘Learn more to earn more’.

4. The subject line Attention pitch

Email is such a fundamental part of our life that it’s become routine. One of the most important parts of getting someone to open an email is the subject line. Create Curiosity, share something related to the other person’s work or be very specific [Pink gives a great example: “A mushy subject line like improve your golf swing achieves less than one offering 4 tips to improve your golf swing this afternoon.”].

So are you ready to skip the ‘elevator pitch’, and give your sincere attention to the other person by also using the above new strategies a shot instead?

Suggestion – next time you meet another person in a networking event start with ‘hello.’ Then listen and see where the conversation naturally goes. Are you going to try this next time you’re out networking?

How about online, how can you apply this to online networking?

I would love to hear how you go. Feel free to come back and add your comments below 🙂

I want you to learn the real value of networking to expand and grow your business. Shall we do it together? Contact me to find out!

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