Chapter 8. The Elevator Pitch—Going Up

Soft skills help immensely when you are deliberately networking, but they can also aid during more random and casual encounters in which you have even less time to make an impression. I like to call this the "elevator pitch."

The elevator pitch simply answers the question: "What do you do?" The idea being, that in the time it takes for a short elevator ride, you are able to explain to someone what you do, why you are good at it, the value and benefits of what you're offering, and why this stranger sharing an elevator with you should be interested in hiring you or at least referring you to people who might need your talents The elevator pitch puts a premium on soft skills because you have such a small window of opportunity to make an impression on a relative stranger about whom you know nothing. If ever you needed further evidence of the importance of drawing an instant connection with someone for the hope of personal gain, then you need to look no further.

Let's set aside that few people speak to each other when ridingin an elevator. What you should actually be doing is seeing the time aboard an elevator—or in a stranger's company, however brief, as an excellent opportunity to advertise what it is you do.

Once inside an elevator, most of us generally stare ahead in morbid fascination at the glowing numbers on the panel wondering why it is taking so damn long to get up or down. Problems can often start even before the ride begins. Sometimes, once ...

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