Tom Hallett, writing for www.mindtools.com (n.d.), offers six tips for creating a compelling elevator pitch:
“To craft a great pitch, follow these steps.
- Identify your goal.
- Explain what you do.
- Communicate your USP (unique selling position).
- Engage with a question.
- Put it all together.
With these tips in mind, here is the hypothetical elevator speech I might use to engage an internal customer who is not convinced that training could be of any use to him or to his organization:
“Training used to be considered to be out of touch with the reality of the business, just rolling out initiatives that came from headquarters without regard to how those initiatives would either be received or implemented by the front line. Sometimes you felt like you were the support staff for us, didn’t you? The truth is that it’s you – the trainees, the managers, and the directors, who are the real customers (Noe, 2013, p. 93). You are the ones we have to satisfy; you are the ones we have to schedule around; and you are the ones whose budgets we have to respect and work within. That’s the way we’ll help you get the results you want.
A lot of people think that training is just about delivering information, or “checking the boxes.” Nolen, nothing could be further from the truth? Tell me, how do you measure your stores’ success – balanced scorecard, right (Noe, 2013, p. 73)? What would you say if I told you that our District Trainers are rated based on that same scorecard and how their districts perform? It’s true! Hal up in District 9 came up with a coaching focus for his district that resulted in a 23% increase in accessory revenue! We’re now rolling that same method to other districts around the state.
Nolen, in these days when your store managers have so much thrown at them, there’s a real temptation to ignore some of it. That’s why you are the third and maybe biggest training truth. Many still see us as separate from Regional leadership, and you can be the one to debunk that myth. When you as a leader communicate support for training initiatives, and speak to the reasons and vision behind initiatives, your front line listens! They are more likely to include their staffs, and again results increase. Can we get together tomorrow to talk about how we can better align to get your team where you want them? Thanks!”
Here is my elevator speech in audio:
Hallett, T. (n.d.). Crafting an Elevator Pitch – Communications Skills From MindTools.com. Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/elevator-pitch.htm
Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training & development (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.