In life and in an interview, the most dreaded questions are the ones we are not prepared to answer. You can wing it and botch it, or you can nail it! I am asking you to rate how solid and memorable your pitch is!
Here is the scenario…you decide to attend a networking meeting and within minutes of walking in the door someone asks you
What do you do?
Fear and panic set in. You want to say $@i% out loud and run far far away. But instead you blabber something about being out of work and begin listing your past work assignments. Honestly, you can’t even remember exactly what you said. The next thing you know, the person who asked you this question is excusing themselves to go to the bathroom.
That’s the worse case scenario, but not that far from the truth. All humor aside, (and if you know me, you know I’m not that in to humor), whether you are employed or unemployed, you must prepare your answer to this question!
I Need a Pitch?
You absolutely need to have a solid answer to what you do because you know what happens when you don’t. You might be thinking you are set in your job or you aren’t comfortable being a “sales person,” but let me warn you, the time to build your reputation is now!
Short and Sweet Isn’t Going to Work
How many of you answer the question as quickly as possible with this response…
“I am [insert your job title] with [insert your company name].”
And exactly what impression do you leave with that?
What Can You Say in Less Than Two Minutes?
Jeffrey Hayzlett, former CMO at Kodak, writes about the importance of the pitch in his book “The Mirror Test”. He calls it a 118 Pitch where in the first eight seconds you hook your listener and during the remaining 110 seconds you drive it home. This is how Hayzlett describes the mission of today’s new pitch:
“Simply, your 118 Pitch must do the following:
- Grab the attention of your prospect.
- Convey who you are.
- Describe what your business offers.
- Explain the promises you will deliver on.”
To read more about crafting a more engaging and memorable pitch, please go visit my post on On Careers today.
But before you go, I wanted to share this short video with you. Chris Westfall won the “Best Elevator Pitch Contest” sponsored by Mirror Test. What do you think about this and how does it fit the 118 format? Are you drawn in during the first 8 seconds?