Joseph Ratliff Writer, Researcher, Thinker

Why You Need to Forget About the “Elevator Pitch”

An edited version of an older article I wrote that was deleted by accident.

Forget the elevator pitch.

In fact, forget the idea entirely … don’t practice one … don’t even say the words ever again.

Here’s why I think so, what you should do instead, and why that will work.

Let’s start with the obvious, we’re human beings.

Not an earth-shattering concept right?

So, if you think about/form an “elevator pitch” in the traditional sense, we are basically saying it’s a numbers game.

We’re going to say the same thing or a variation of the same thing to every potential customer, client, or vendor so they can get a clear idea of what our business is about in a short period of time.

Some will get it, some won’t, but forget the rest… or try to explain your business to those folks if you have to.

Right?

Wrong.

We are human beings … and there are so many variables at play when attempting to do this, we cannot possibly account for them all … so I have a better idea…

Just start a natural, meaningful, and dare I say it, human conversation … and where it’s natural and appropriate, talk about your business and what it offers.

Just let the conversation flow.

Because you’re not a billboard for your business, you’re a human being for crying out loud!

And so is the person you’re talking to.

Now, you might be thinking…

“Joe, you’re a moron, an elevator pitch is something short and pithy designed to express ‘what you do’ in a short period of time… like an elevator ride.”

To which I ask you a question… dear reader…

Which is more valuable to the person you’re talking to:

1. A concise billboard ad about your business, or…

2. A conversation that is interesting, adds value, and naturally leads to a deeper discussion about your business and what it offers the potential customer, client, or vendor (and perhaps, a discussion of the value they might have for you).

Which leads to the next natural question…

How do you start that conversation?

And this is the most important part of this article…

Why on earth would you start (or continue) a natural conversation with a walking billboard ad?

Or, even if you have well-developed “elevator pitch” that is interesting to the other person … how deeply effective is that really?

That’s why I wrote this, because I’m going to develop this thought further.

I know I’m NOT the smartest person in the massive room of life, so I will learn a lot while I explore this important topic.

I hope you will too.

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