You Need to Refresh Your Elevator Pitch

by | Feb 8, 2022

Long known as a way to get a foot in the door, the elevator pitch was just that — a pitch that one would give in the elevator! This was generally a short statement to convey what the speaker had to offer in as few words as possible. This practiced pitch could then be used on any influential person with whom one happened to cross paths.

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But times have changed a lot since the days of the traditional elevator pitch. For one, finding yourself in an elevator with a high-powered executive is less likely. More people work from home or are concerned about getting into close quarters with strangers. Not to mention, networking has become more difficult overall since the pandemic. In fact, people are seeing an average network reduction of 16% since 2020

So, how are you supposed to beat the odds and deliver a stunning, successful elevator pitch? In 2022, it’s all about putting together a pitch that’s accessible, attention-grabbing, and straightforward. 

What Is A Digital Elevator Pitch? 

A digital elevator pitch is a modified version of the traditional elevator pitch. It’s designed to be accessible through digital distribution channels. 

Young African Businesspeople Having Conversation In Elevator, elevator pitch

So, how do you distribute your elevator pitch digitally? Ideally, you want the person receiving your elevator pitch to warm to the idea of doing business with you. That means connecting first if possible, especially in person. If that’s not possible, then sites like LinkedIn provide an excellent opportunity to break the ice. You can message someone directly with your pitch and get their response in real time. It’s also easier to look up people who might be interested based on their industry, experience, and descriptions. 

One other option for distributing your message is through email. However, relevant email addresses are much more difficult to find. Plus, people may not appreciate receiving a direct message from someone they don’t know. That’s why networking sites provide an advantage that email doesn’t, so those should be your first choice. 

While it may be harder to catch someone’s attention digitally, consider the advantages to connecting online. For one, you can include links and images. This provides a great opportunity for you to link your portfolio or attach an image of your samples. That’s not typically a possibility during a face-to-face interaction unless you are well prepared. However, make sure your links and images don’t appear suspicious. If they appear like a scam, that might ruin your ability to connect right off the bat. 

How Can I Improve My Elevator Pitch? 

A great elevator pitch is grounded in answering a few key questions: who, what, why, and when? Or if you want to be more specific …

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do? 
  • What do you want? 
  • When can you meet? 

This is the core information someone needs to know to determine if your expertise or business is worthwhile. That doesn’t change just because your elevator pitch has gone digital. On the contrary, people are seeing an influx of pitches on a daily basis. So, answering those questions thoroughly and succinctly is more important than ever. 

Here’s a simple example: 

man on phone delivering pitch
  • Who are you?

Hello, my name is Alicia Ventura. It’s so nice to meet you! 

  • What do you do? 

I’m an entrepreneur and run my own photography studio in Peterson, just outside of Cityville. We specialize in headshots and senior photos. 

  • What do you want? 

I heard through the grapevine you were looking to get some new professional headshots for your sales team. I would love to help you out with that effort. 

  • When can you meet? 

If you have some time, I could send some free samples this week. If you like what you see, I can come down to the office whenever it works best for your team. I’d be happy to take some fresh photos. 

This is just a basic example, but you want to be as specific, concise, and engaging as possible. What will make you stand out varies depending on whom you’re talking to, what you’re talking about, and your industry. That’s why it’s so important to be adaptable and able to tweak what you’re saying depending on your audience. 

Smiling African American businesswoman talking to colleague, diverse employees networking, sitting at table in office, manager consulting client, using laptop, mentor coach training intern,

For example, let’s say that you own a doughnut shop. You get a tip from your friend at TechCo that the CEO buys doughnuts for the sales team every Thursday. Your friend also lets you know the CEO’s favorite doughnut is raspberry cream, which is your specialty. In that case, you’d bring a doughnut for the CEO to sample when giving your pitch. That will certainly help you stand out in a good way. 

Now, let’s think about another scenario. Let’s say you meet the CEO for GlassCorp at a local business meet-and-greet. In this scenario, you’re a business owner who makes and installs windows and wants to work with a direct supplier. Are you going to give them a sample of your windows when you make your pitch? Probably not. You might instead present them with a brochure featuring pictures of your windows instead. It’s all about shifting to what makes sense for your business. 
For more specific examples of how to improve your elevator pitch, online guides can help you determine what would work best. Just remember that updating your elevator pitch is all about adapting, branching out, and keeping your pitch relevant.

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