In a previous post, I outlined the importance of writing your value proposition or “elevator pitch.” To recap, this is a short (30-second), prepared speech that addresses the questions, “Who are you?” and “What do you have to offer?”
In Part One, I suggested writing down your top five work and personal accomplishments.
Now, think about what you want to achieve. Tie these achievements to the target’s needs…
What problem do they (or their organization) have that you can help solve? Remember, although the pitch describes what YOU offer, it is really about your target. In fact, you should alter your pitch depending on your target. (Once you have something solid worked up, it will be easy to adjust it depending on your audience.)
Offer specifics about your skills and accomplishments that address the target’s problems. Are they lagging in sales? Maybe you have a fabulous sales track record. Do they need new written materials? Bring up your background and accomplishments in revising or creating such materials. In other words, you are the answer to their problem! (Who doesn’t want to meet the person who solves their problems?)
Demonstrate your interest and excitement about your work. No one wants to engage a cold fish. Don’t go overboard (no jumping on couches a la Tom Cruise), but be sure that you sound passionate about what you have to offer.
Practice your pitch. Memorize it until you could say it if someone woke you up from a nap. Once you know what you have to offer, it will be easy for you to tweak your pitch depending on the target and what their needs may be.
You may be surprised at how useful it is to have an elevator pitch ready at a moment’s notice. It’s useful for networking as an answer to the question, “What do you do?” and you can rely on it as an introduction to a great “gate opener” (someone who has the potential to connect you to someone who may be instrumental in your job hunt).
By sharing information about who you are and what you do that is targeted to the individual who could use your services, you are several steps ahead of most job seekers and professionals who are not prepared to describe what they offer.