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  • A common concept associated with networking is the Elevator Pitch, which many people imagine as a single, brief, high-stakes opportunity to sell themselves or their idea.

  • This creates pressure that can result in canned, inauthentic conversations.

  • But people don't do interviews or make job offers in elevators.

  • So instead of thinking of these brief networking interactions as opportunities to sell yourself, why not reframe them as Elevator Conversations?

  • An Elevator Conversation is an opportunity to tell your story and make a connection.

  • It's a chance to engage organically, generate enough interest to be remembered, and plan to move the relationship forward through a phone call, email, interview, or longer conversation later.

  • To be able to communicate clearly, it's helpful to reflect on a few questions before entering into a conversation:

  • First, ask yourself, who will you be speaking with?

  • Is it a specific person?

  • Also consider, how might you be able to contribute to different projects, teams, and organizations?

  • Then reflect on what unique experiences have you had?

  • These could be personal or professional.

  • As you learn the interests and needs of a new person, you'll be able to connect the relevant parts of their experiences with your own.

  • An elevator conversation might go something like this:

  • First, introduce yourself:

  • "Hi, I'm an intern at Y-Triple-I."

  • "Hi, I'm MB McGee.

  • "I oversee hydroelectric projects at HydroLarge Engineering."

  • Next, a good Elevator Conversation makes a connection to them or their organization.

  • You might continue with something like,

  • something like, "It's nice to meet you - I've read about the conservation work that HydroLarge Engineering Company is doing!"

  • "Really? I'm glad you've heard about our work!"

  • Then build on the connection:

  • "I was especially interested because I've been helping our customers understand their energy use, and I started thinking about how your technology might help our customers too."

  • "That's interesting, I hadn't thought about that possibility.."

  • An effective Elevator Conversation should conclude with a call to action.

  • You could end with something like, "I'd love to have a longer conversation about it - could I follow up with you by phone or email?"

  • And you'll be surprised how often you'll hear a response like, "Sure, I'd be happy to chat more. Here's my information."

  • By reflecting on your own skills and accomplishments, listening and engaging with curiosity, and looking for shared experiences and interests, you can make a good connection in a short amount of time.

  • Rather than pitching yourself or your ideas, an elevator conversation is an opportunity to connect with another person, and move the relationship forward.

A common concept associated with networking is the Elevator Pitch, which many people imagine as a single, brief, high-stakes opportunity to sell themselves or their idea.

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Designing Your Career: The Elevator Conversation

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    13 posted on 2021/01/28
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