When I wrote an earlier post about the elevator pitch I suggested strongly that you ditch it, never mention it, and instead start a meaningful and valuable conversation instead.
In this post I’m going to focus more on “how to” start that meaningful conversation in about 60 seconds or less (which seems to be the time period we were supposed to give our “elevator pitch”).
Let’s get started…
The first suggestion from my perspective, which has worked well for me, is NOT to talk about your business intentionally AT ALL in that first crucial 60 seconds.
Instead, start a conversation. This isn’t rocket science by any means, start with “Hello” and work your way forward, naturally progressing with exchanging names, common ground, weather… whatever starts and continues the conversation naturally. The key word is… naturally.
This is where most people get it so wrong it’s not even funny.
DO. NOT. SELL.
I know this goes against conventional wisdom, I mean, you’re “supposed” to get to the point where you pitch something right?
No… you’re not.
But, if we examine the typical elevator pitch scenario, you use your pitch and set up a meeting or sell your idea/product/etc… in 60 seconds or less. The law of averages says if you talk to enough people, with an “effective” elevator pitch… you’ll get results.
I’m telling you that is like directly selling a $2000 training course with ONLY a classified ad and no further contact.
Even if your only objective is “get a meeting”… and you have further selling to do to “convert” and make a sale, I’m going against the grain and saying this:
Starting a normal conversation and then seeing where it leads, focusing on building a relationship with the person instead with NO alternate motive (like selling)… is MUCH more valuable.
- With the traditional method, you might get a few sales or schedule a few meetings.
- With the “relationship building” method, you’ll get whatever sales or meetings you get initially, and it may not be as many (again… initially)… PLUS you’ll have developed a relationship worth so much more by putting the person first, and the sale second.
What I’m saying is you can get so much more from that initial 60 seconds than a few sales or meetings… but if you don’t focus on beginning a relationship with the other person at the start, and instead focus on your “greed gland”… you’ll lose the opportunity or have to work even harder to get:
- More sales
- Easier to close sales
- More valuable attention
- And more
Nobody likes to be “sold” by someone with the “used-car salesman” mentality… but they LOVE buying from someone they trust, when it’s THEIR decision to buy.
And, when you’ve developed the relationship properly… you’ll have a list of people to contact who will do much more for you, with you, and buy from you because the progression of your business relationship was natural… not forced.
I suppose I’m basically promoting the idea of selling without the “classified ad” mentality of the traditional elevator pitch… right?
Wealthy people get wealthy because they do what other people don’t… so go get wealthy.