Fine-Tuning Your Personal Elevator Pitch

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a CEO Space meeting tonight.  CEO Space is a place for entrepreneurs to get together and talk about their businesses, network, find resources for problems they’re facing, and share stories together.  I’m not really an entrepreneur, but it’s not a crowd I’m unfamiliar with.

Let’s face it – in a tough economy, you should want to associate with the people who have the cohones to go out and face the down-turns head-on.  They tend to be the ones who know how to survive in tough times, so sound advice is in no short supply.

While there, I learned about a valuable tool called “SNAP” pitches.  They’re basically high-energy, high-focus, and high-efficiency elevator pitches.  I’m not sure why they call them SNAP pitches, but I’d have to guess it either has to do with the sound of people flicking their business cards at you (unless you aren’t good at it – then the only sound you hear is crickets). They consist of:

  • A Headlineran important fact or figure to grab the attention of the people you’re talking to
  • A Problemsomething that is affecting the people  you’re talking to
  • A Solutionsomething you can do
  • A Requesta call to action for the people to either 1) network with you, 2) network you to someone else, or 3) give you their wallet

It works best when you’re passionate about whatever you’re “snapping” about.  It can even be yourself – and it seems to be a great way to promote yourself in person.

The headliner is supposed to be a solid fact or figure that has the “wow” factor.  The problem – something that relates to a problem your audience is likely to face.  The more relevant to their needs the problem is, the more they get sucked in.  The solution to the problem is something you have to bring to the table, something specific that you are good at.  Something that relates directly to the problem you just mentioned.  Finally, the request – one simple thing that you need from whoever you’re talking to.  If you need funding, you ask for funding.  If you need a specific person with a specific skill, you ask for that.  If you need your first job out of college with a reputable company, well… you get the idea.

The idea isn’t to sound like a salesman or pass out thousands of business cards, the idea is to confidently promote what you’re doing and ask for help along the way.  It’s a proven fact that people love charity cases, but they love people who respect and value their opinions more.

“Snapping” works a lot better than sending out your business cards and resumes willy-nilly.  That tactic only seems to work for the “girlz girlz girlz” guys in Vegas, who prove every day that you really can be spammed in person.  Of course, they are selling something that tends to sell itself quite well.  You don’t really need a smut business card to sell sex.

Just think of how much their “conversion rate” would improve if they used the snap method!  Vegas would finally be rid of that nasty gambling problem…

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