Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Purposeful Business Conversations - Cut The Cord On The Elevator Pitch

If you were dying -- would you make sure that you chose your words carefully the final time spoke to your children or would you recite an elevator pitch?  Would the purpose of your last conversation with your husband or wife be the same as the one you had with a co-worker?

Who you are speaking with has an influence on your purpose.

In the business world there is a lot of attention placed on crafting an elevator statement.  While I am not arguing the importance of being able to clearly and concisely tell your story, the problem here is that people often learn only one description of themselves and then lead with that in each encounter.

When you meet a client you should have a different purpose than when you meet a prospect.  Another purpose entirely when you meet a vendor or a referral sources.  In each situation you need to have different conversation.  No two people are the same and to recite memorized lines makes your interaction with others less than genuine.

It is best to set aside your elevator pitch and learn to ask questions of others so that you can make decisions about what information is necessary for their needs once it is your turn to share information.


I was one of the speakers at the 2012 RISE Austin event.  My talk was about knowing your purpose and telling your story.  The audience asked a lot of smart questions about how to embrace the serendipity of conversations and not being tied down to pre-learned statements.  This talk was fun for me as the small audience and intimate setting made for a unique learning environment for the audience and the speaker.

RISE has become one of the most anticipated conferences of the year for local entrepreneurs and others who want to learn.  There were people in my session who were attending over 20 presentations over the five day period (That is a lot of information).  It was fun to hear from the group about each person's "purpose" for participating in RISE.

What was your purpose for reading this blog post?

Have A Great Day.

thom singer


Zowish said...

Hi, Tom,

Sounds like it was a pertinent presentation. Where could I obtain notes or slides?


Howie Richey

Juli Monroe said...

I agree and don't agree.

I agree that a canned elevator pitch isn't the best. It gets stale very quickly, and the delivery starts to sound like it's being done by rote.

Which is why I teach something different to my clients. I teach them a template approach that can be changed quickly and easily, depending on the event or audience. I also teach them to research the audience in advance (or ask good questions on the spot) so they know how to customize it for the occasion.

Thom Singer said...

Zowish... sorry, I spoke without slides and was more conversational with the audience. Nothing to share beyond those in the room.

Juli - I don't think there is really disagreement, more like two ways to describe the same thing.