Bait and Hook - 10 seconds and go! Seriously, that is truly all you have to get your story across to your listeners. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you've all heard about how important it is to have an elevator pitch. And, you probably know how important networking is for maximizing your career and business. But it’s not always enjoyable. You can make networking a whole lot less painful by being prepared and by having your personal elevator pitch rehearsed and ready to go.
But here's the catch. With the rise of social media and all the 'noise' that we encounter, our potential clients and customers attention span is even short than it once was. You'll be told that you need to write and practice your elevator pitch to be 60 seconds. When in fact, you only have about 10 seconds. I refer to it as "Bait and Hook"
Let me introduce you to my approach I refer to as the "Bait and Hook." It will help you polish your pitch and how to reduce it for your next networking event.
Bait and Hook
A good elevator pitch was always based on the average length of an elevator ride, about 45 seconds. It should be interesting, memorable, and brief, and you should feel comfortable delivering it. It should sound natural and not like an elevator pitch! The bait, needs to be the same but short. Think 10 words kinda short.
You might be thinking - what? Only 10 words? Yes! Only 10. To start You can tailor your elevator pitch to different scenarios. Are you there representing your organization or there to get your next sale or your next job? Keep your two- or three-line bait and hook pitch focused on that objective. If the person you’re talking to is from the same sector or went to your college, include details to get their attention. If you have an existing connection, you can start to build the relationship there.
Let's be clear about your intention with this section of your Bait and Hook. The hook portion is where you concisely present your experience or your business goals. You need tell them you’ve worked as personal trainer, massage therapist or stock trading for however many years, or that you’re an entrepreneur or a human right advocate all in 20 words. Mention any specializations without falling into jargon and make sure to steer away from too much detail.
Qualifications You Stand On
Anyone can make claims that they are 'x' or 'y' and that they are able to do 'z' for you. But, what is the qualification foundation you stand on to make these claims? If you have a diploma of jurisprudence or an MBA, mention them. If you’ve just graduated, you can specify your college major. You might want to include any significant achievements, leadership skills, or standout strengths. You need to think about how you can intertwine this piece into a followup statement once you've shared your 10 second introduction. This provides you with your credibility.
Think of what makes you stand out. Do you speak other languages? Have you worked or volunteered overseas? What unique qualities or experiences make you memorable? These are elements you can think about and pear down to include in the hook if it makes sense, allows the statement to flow and provides the opportunity for the listener to take the bite and ask a follow-up question asking you to share more.about your products, services and solutions.
End with a Question
Your Bait and Hook doesn't end, really. It is a beginning to a conversation. Be sure your pitch isn’t a party piece that just finishes, and that’s it. It’s an invitation to continue the conversation. You should consider including an open-ended question, perhaps asking about the other person’s company or an opportunity to speak again.
In your eagerness to get your elevator pitch across, it’s easy to speak too fast or even appear desperate to impress. Remember to breathe, slow down, and smile! Make eye contact and allow the other person to respond.
Above anything else, once you’ve written your Bait and Hook, you need to rehearse and refine until it’s second nature. Practice repeatedly with your partners, a friend, or even your dog. Practice in front of the mirror and observe your expression and body language. What image are you projecting? You want to look calm, confident and engaging.
As I mentioned in the beginning, the 10 seconds you have is truly all you have to get your story across to your listeners. Make your first impression as an entrepreneur or small business owner, be a memorable one. This will allow you to make some of those dreaded networking events that much more fun and successful.
I would like to invite you to join me in the conversations in one of our two groups ... SpringBoard - Your Small Business Community for Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses and Coaches or Women Owned Businesses. Find the support you are seeking.