What’s the one skill product managers should master?
I have stumbled upon this question several times over the last few years and my answer hasn’t changed. Communication is the most critical skill for product managers.
Your daily routine entails talking to different people from a range of position levels and interests. Because of this, it’s key to develop an awareness of your audience so that you can deliver a clear and concise message.
In this article, you’ll learn what an elevator pitch is, the elements that go into one, and how to best deliver it.
An elevator pitch is a technique to help you introduce yourself and get the person interested in knowing more about you or even help you with something. In the elevator pitch model, you only have thirty seconds to get the person’s attention. You want to get the other person interested in wanting to hear more about your words.
The beauty of the elevator pitch is that it shows how well you can structure your thoughts. It’s hard to convey a complex message in a few words. You can use it in network events, interviews, work, etc.
Networking is still the most powerful way of opening doors — be it a new job, a partnership, or an investment. Try to think about why someone should care about you.
An elevator pitch can help you pave the way for future collaboration. It’s straight to the point, without any fluff.
When you talk to new people, you only have a few seconds to get their attention. Failing to do that will ensure you lose them. The sharper you can craft your message, the more people will listen to you, contributing to your brand.
An elevator pitch is more than pitching an idea; it’s about showing how you think.
There are different ways of crafting an elevator pitch, but a good one will have the following:
Let me share a little story about a book that I’m writing. Once I decided to write the book, I attended several product conferences and networked with people to understand how relevant my book would be. For that, I had my elevator pitch as follows:
Hi, I’m David, an unconventional product leader.
After realizing many product teams struggle to drive value, I tried to find answers in books but couldn’t. So, I started writing a book to help teams remove obstacles and create valuable products.
I wonder if you face a similar situation and could share something about it.
This pitch took a few seconds, but it interested people. Many product managers started sharing their current situations and how they struggled. As I learned from them, I could improve my book content and get them interested in my work.
Context matters when you’re crafting your pitch. I recommend you have a few cards under your sleeve so you can take them whenever necessary.
Here are the five steps to craft successful elevator pitches:
Let’s explore now what the STAR method is and how you could use it:
To bring it to earth, let me give you an example I use in interviews. Hiring managers usually ask me to share a situation where I drove desired results.
Situation — In a marketplace, the partner onboarding took two weeks on average, leading to many partners giving up
Task — I was the marketplace product manager
Action — I first understood the situation. Partner managers couldn’t conclude their jobs because software engineers had to do manual tasks. We invested a month to build a self-onboarding, enabling partners to get live in minutes instead of weeks
Result — We accelerate partner acquisition, enabling us to reach our yearly revenue goal two months before
This pitch took 30 seconds and enabled hiring managers to ask further questions. Yet, the context, task, and results are clear.
How you deliver the elevator pitch is fundamental. Here are my tips:
Elevator pitches can be used in several scenarios. They’re great because they simplify communication and foster a dialogue instead of a monologue. People disengage when you talk more than they want to hear. Elevator pitches help you balance with that.
When you master the art of crafting elevator pitches, succeeding with job interviews becomes easier. You also get to build a stronger network. Ultimately, people become curious about your thoughts, and you can cultivate more meaningful exchanges instead of shallow ones.
Featured image source: IconScout
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