Over the weekend, a friend of mine got promoted to a global lead cloud delivery role and the CIO asked him to prepare an elevator pitch for his introduction meetings to the C-Level suit in the organisation. He asked if I can help him draft an elevator pitch to use in his brief intro meetings. My response was: an elevator pitch is useless.
Now I know the above statement will raise many eye brows but I ask that you hold fire for a bit. I personally do not have an issue with an elevator pitch but I do have an issue with its singular form (an elevator pitch). This post is my view on why a standard elevator pitch is useless and how to make it impactful.
What is an elevator pitch?
It is a 30 to 60 seconds summary or a commercial about you. It describes who you are (Individual, Team, Company), what you do, what challenges do you solve and the end benefits you provide.
Why is the traditional elevator pitch useless?
Creating an elevator pitch is a straight forward exercise. The challenge is when you step into an elevator and share it with a few individuals. The first ride in the elevator, you share it with the CEO. CEO’s biggest worries are improving profit margins, rebellious shareholders, threats and opportunities of disruptive technologies, etc. As the CEO exits the elevator, the CFO steps in. The CFO is concerned with cost optimisation, growth investment, financial analytics, etc. Then the organisation’s CISO walks into the elevator with the following on his/her mind: increasing cyber-attacks, data loss, regulations, and compliance, etc.
I have just described three different meetings. The question is how can your 30 seconds elevator pitch successfully articulate a message focused on their different needs? The answer is you cannot.
How to improve it?
In order to draft an impactful elevator pitch, I suggest to have multiple elevator pitches focused on different groups. For example, one elevator pitch will have a financial focus for CFO and others in financial roles. Another elevator pitch will be security-centric for CISO and so on.
By having multiple elevator pitches with relevant messaging, you will gain the trust and influence of your audience.
I hope you have found the post informative and thank you for reading.