If you are like me, you have been lectured about the importance of having your elevator pitch locked and loaded, ready, so you can whip it out when you need it. Do you really need it? Does the world really need another elevator pitch? While I understand the need to quickly describe what you do I disagree with the crowd that shares that life is just not worth living without a great 30-second pitch. As one of the owners of a web design company, I had my fair share of enduring and giving the old elevator pitch. At this point, listening to elevator pitches make me feel about as great as kissing a dead fish.
What’s wrong with having an elevator pitch?
1. What if it takes you longer than a few seconds to really explain what you do? I think it is perfectly OK to take your time to explain what you do and I don’t think you are subhuman if it takes you longer than 30-seconds.
2. I always find well rehearsed elevator pitches gimmicky. When I hear someone rattle through their well-rehearsed pitch I feel I landed on a used car lot.
3. Not every business can be explained in a few seconds. If you can’t truly explain what you do in a few seconds, I would rather you took your time.
4. An elevator pitch is like speed dating. While it may work for some it may be of disastrous consequences for others. Some things you just can’t force.
What to do instead of resorting to an elevator pitch?
Build real relationships with people. When people truly know you, they will give you more than a few seconds to tell them what you do. When people really know you they will know what you do because you have spent time talking with each other, meeting each other, you have gone beyond what anyone could accomplish with a 30-second elevator pitch.
So, the next time you are out there and have the urge to lay your elevator pitch on someone, don’t. Instead, make one real connection with another human being, and leave your pitch at home.