Do you have an elevator pitch? Can you recite it flawlessly at a moment's notice? You need to be able to these days. Elevator rides are faster these days and people's attention spans are shorter.
One of my favorite business authors, Jeffrey Hayzlett, a former CMO at Eastman Kodak and author of Running the Gauntlet: Essential Business Lessons to Lead, Drive Change and Grow Profits, has posted an article on Harvard Business Review's blog portal that is a must read for anyone needing to build or improve a sales pitch . . . so pretty much anyone!
The elevator pitch of old is still as important today as it was, say 50 years ago, but it needs to be updated. Hayzlett calls this update, "the 118"—based on the average elevator ride time in New York City (so, if you live in Des Moines, or just about anywhere in Europe, where elevator rides are likely much shorter, you've got your work cut out for you!).
His article, "Why You Need a Better Elevator Pitch," basically spells out a winning blueprint in black and white, and whether you're needing to sell a product, a reason for upping the budget on your next meeting, or yourself to a prospective client, it's won or lost in the pitch. It's that simple.