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  • Corry McClure

A New Spin on the Old Elevator Pitch

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

Summer is winding down and when I scroll through my calendar it seems to be getting awfully close to September. Groups and networking activities will be picking up again, I often find myself bouncing around my elevator pitch or a new version of my answer to the common question, “what do you do?”

Donald Miller from Building a StoryBrand, reminds us in his same named weekly podcasts, that a story format is the best and clearest way to engage our audience. To add to this belief, psychologist Steven Pinker says storytelling may have evolved because it was a useful “thought experiment”. By running a scenario and visualising what happens we learnt what might happen in real life. This equipped us to deal better with real life. So, people who were more receptive to stories had an evolutionary advantage over those who weren’t so receptive.

To make this more relevant, our brains can only absorb so much information, when accessing information about our most recent networking connection, it is not the name we recall the fastest, but the pain or problem that person solves.

According to Donald Miller there are 3 key sequenced points to hit in our pitch

Step#1 The Problem aka The Hook

Step #2 The Product , describing the product so it solves their problem

Step #3 The Resolution- describing the experience by using said product

Let’s use an example of a pet store owner and walk through this…listen for the 3 components, their answer to what do you do, would go something like this:

“I own a pet store, you know how most people have no idea what’s in their dog food, our natural pet food is organic and healthy, customers who buy from us have pets that live longer and are healthier.”

So what can you do with your one liner: memorize it, have your employees and, include it in your email signature and other brand materials. ……Remember as Kathyrn Minshew, author of The New Rules of Work reminds us; “Networking doesn't have to be all about talking shop over appetizers and bad chardonnay - do it in a way that works for you”

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