Imagine you’re at a professional gathering, such as a conference or business event. You and everybody else there know it is important to network, but you don’t know what to say.
It stands out, so you stand out. This elevator pitch or in your case, sales pitch or short speech, is part of your personal brand, summing up your background and experience toward your career.
The importance of your sales pitch is based on having only a few seconds with someone you are networking with, standing in an elevator with, or passing by in the hall. That first sentence or two needs to hook whomever you speak to. If you need to catch a potential employer’s ear in one sentence what do you say? What distinguishes you as an employee? How can you relate to them in their work? How are you valuable?
It is difficult to par yourself down to one sentence, so start with the big picture. Sit down and just write down your personality traits, skills, effectiveness, experience, using the language of your field that speaks of you. What do people in general find exceptional about you in your work? It might be something your coworkers, fellow volunteers, church work groups, neighbors, or friends said. Pay attention to patterns in positive comments by supervisors.
Next work on paring down that list. Find those keywords about yourself that represent your skills and abilities.
Your sales pitch needs to be both concise and conversational. You need to effortlessly plug it into an interview or in passing. Say it out loud to see if any of the words trip you up. Does it sound stunted, blunt, vague, or just generally blah? Go back to your list and refine your action verbs.
Next practice, practice, practice. Say it to yourself in the mirror. Say it to family or friends who may have generative feedback. Practice in your networking. Mostly just practice it so it rolls off the tongue just as easily as pulling out your business card.