The Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a high-level overview of whatever it is that you are selling and is designed to just get the conversation started

YOU are an entrepreneur with a big idea for a new product. You stand to make millions, but investors are hard to find. You take a flight to Fiji for some well earned rest and as you take your seat on the plane you notice a man in a floral Hawaiian shirt sitting across the aisle from you, he is the world’s leading venture capitalist. What do you say?

You are a consultant wooing a major prospective client. If you are successful this will put you in the big time. Middle management plan to interview a dozen consultants, and won’t give you access to the CEO. Your chances of winning the contract are slim. As you step into the elevator to leave the building you notice that the only other person in the elevator is the company’s CEO. What do you say?

You are a university student seeking a job at a big consulting firm. You attend your school’s on-campus careers fair where you meet the head recruitment partner for the firm of your choice. What do you say?

The Problem

You have something valuable to offer: a big idea, a quality product, a superior service, a first-class education, extensive experience, niche skills, profound wisdom. In short, you hold the solution to someone else’s problem.

The problem is that, when you finally meet the person who can help you sell your solution, you have not prepared anything to say.

People are busy with their own affairs, and those people who are most likely to be able to help you are even busier. There are lots of ideas competing for attention, and people don’t understand what you have to offer. It is much easier for people to simply tune you out than to give you a chance to explain.

The Pitch

In order to overcome this problem, you need to prepare what you are going to say in advance. You need to create an “elevator pitch”.

An elevator pitch is a high-level overview of whatever it is that you are selling and is designed to just get the conversation started (Elevator Pitch Essentials, Chris O’Leary). It is a communication tool which you can use to quickly and clearly explain your idea with the aim of generating interest and helping you sell the idea.

Productivity – Make It Personal

Assigning direct responsibility for productivity improvement makes it much more likely that action will be taken to improve productivity

PRODUCTIVITY is important.  Every organisation wants to produce more with less.

The difficulty is though, that “productivity” is a nebulous term.  Who is responsible for this “productivity” you speak of?

Assigning direct responsibility for productivity improvement to a specific individual or team makes it much more likely that initiatives to measure productivity and strategies for improving productivity will be undertaken.

Telstra’s recently released productivity report, which is based on a survey of 300 private sector and government enterprises, provides clear evidence to support this view.  The graph below shows that there is a clear link between assigning personal responsibility for productivity improvement and the likelihood that steps will be taken to measure productivity and set a specific target.

Productivity, make it personal.

Focus on the customer

I RECENTLY listened to a talk by Alan Weiss, and it got me thinking.

The people in your organisation are your assets. Each person has unique talents that can be put to work to make your organisation a more successful one.

The question is though, where is that talent focused?  Is it focused on your products, your services, your relationship with the customer? Or is it focused internally: people are unhappy with the compensation system, you got that job and I didn’t.

If you take 100% of your people’s talents, what’s the percentage?  What’s the breakdown?

If 30% of your people’s effort is focused on internal affairs and you can redirect it so that only 10% of people’s effort is focused internally, then that is a major boost in productivity.

Focus on what matters.  Focus on the customer.