You ride the subway, grab a coffee, and get to the office. It’s your typical Monday morning—until, bam! You step in the elevator and find yourself face-to-face with the CEO of your dream company or the client you’ve been dying to land.
She smiles and says, “Hi. What do you do?” Scary? Absolutely. But it could happen to you tomorrow and you’ll want to be prepared. Here are a few things that could help :
- Always be Ready. Lol, Duh, but it is the most important step. You never know when an opportunity will pop up, which is why it’s essential to have an elevator pitch at your disposal. So tomorrow while travelling to work, or working at home, or relaxing, put those headphones out of your ears and into your pocket and think about your things to add to your pitch.
- Ease into it. If it’s someone you know, acknowledge how you know each other. If it’s someone you’ve never met, you can still acknowledge what you have in common. Find common things like the weather, the AC in the building being too cold, common building issues, they are holding the same brand of coffee everyday, learn about it maybe??? I don’t know but find something.
- Focus on the future. Your pitch shouldn’t be a laundry list of achievements or your life story..oh no no no no. Instead talk about what you are working on or something you’re going to be doing. Talk as if its your company and you are a 200% accountable and passionate about it.
- Keep it short. Aim for a 45 second pitch. Yes, stop whining and listen. Practice in front of a mirror with a stop watch and videotape yourself. Watch the clip and take notes. See if something doesn’t make sense or if yours talking a mile a minute.
- Be approachable. Make eye contact and keep your arms uncrossed so you’re open to the person in front of you. Be close, but maintain some distance so you’re not encroaching on the person’s space.
- Ask questions. Turn on the conversation back to the other person. At a minimum you should know enough that you can keep in touch with them. Like ask them what they are working on these days.
- Exchange Contact info. Basic!! whether it’s for a date or business. A big pet peeve in networking is when people are too presumptuous. The elevator pitch is an introduction, not a close. Its only pursue is to start a relationship. You want connect with the person and plant the seed for future connect. That’s it.
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