Use your elevator pitch wisely

///Use your elevator pitch wisely

Do you have an elevator pitch?

You know, that brief, well-rehearsed speech that’s designed to get the listener interested in what your product, service or business idea.

It’s called an elevator pitch because it should be short enough to deliver during an elevator ride. The theory is that if your pitch is successful, you’ll have the other person hooked and eager to know more before the door opens at their floor.

Because your elevator pitch can help you win new business, it’s worth putting time and effort into preparing one that’s ready to use at the right time.

The question, though, is when is the right time? Just because you have a great elevator pitch doesn’t mean you should roll it out at every opportunity.

For example, imagine you’re at one of your business association’s regular monthly events and someone you know has just introduced you to the person standing next to her.

After shaking your hand, checking your name badge and saying hello, this person looks you in the eye and asks, “What do you do?”.

It’s a conversation-starting question that probably everyone has used in that kind of situation.

Is that the right moment to recite your elevator pitch? Or is better to give a ‘plain vanilla’ response and say, very simply and without embellishment, what your profession or occupation is?

The answer lies in the context.

The elevator pitch is a sales technique. It’s a verbal door-opener that helps you get one step further to closing a deal.

When someone you’re introduced to at a business networking event asks what you do, they are just trying to get a conversation going. Nothing more, nothing less. Launching straight into your carefully crafted elevator pitch is probably not going to achieve much.

There is, however, one likely exception. That’s when you’ve previously identified this person as a prospect. Perhaps you’ve also anticipated their attendance at the event and set up the introduction.

It comes down to the difference between networking and selling.

Giving an elevator pitch is a sales activity. On the other hand, networking is about building relationships and does not mean selling yourself to strangers – see our previous Business Blog

So be careful with your elevator pitch. Have one ready to use at the right time, knowing that’s unlikely to be when someone you’ve just met and know nothing about asks what you do.

Recent Posts


What our members say

It was wonderful to meet so many WSBA members at the event last night. I congratulate you and all at WSBA for organising such a great, welcoming and fun networking event. We will definitely be looking to engage with the WSBA on an ongoing basis. Celia Hammond MP – Federal Member for Curtin
The Regal Theatre has been a member of the Western Suburbs Business Association (formerly Subiaco Business Association) for almost 15 years. Over these years, we have benefited from networking opportunities with others in a relaxed and friendly environment, sharing experiences and keeping up to date with what is happening locally. Our membership is a vital part of our business. Kim Knight, Regal Theatre
I have been a member for many years and during this time have found WSBA to be an exceptional organisation. It is headed up by professional people who assist and help nurture new and existing members in their business pursuits and networking.” Tony Hatt CEO, Devwest Group
WSBA is an outstanding organisation to be associated with. The quality of business people you meet at the networking events are very helpful in getting business exposure and to make great contacts on a professional and personal level. Members are guaranteed to benefit from the many networking opportunities and the satisfaction and personal growth they will derive from being actively involved in it. I am already looking forward to the next event! Thomas Meihofer, Thomas Meifhofer Jewellery Design
I strongly recommend WSBA to any businessperson in the western suburbs area. Whatever industry sector you are in and whether you operate a one-person business, a branch office of a multi-national corporation or anything in between, you will benefit from the exposure, support and networking opportunities that come with membership. WSBA is high-calibre organisation in every respect.” James Bull, James Bull Consulting
I have attended a couple of WSBA events now and could not recommend them highly enough. They are a very professional and well run outfit which attracts great people from a diverse industry base. WSBA is a warm and welcoming group to be a part of and presents excellent networking opportunities. Rowan Hemsley, Hemsley Paterson