As working professionals, we’re aware of what an elevator pitch is. It’s those couple of sentences that we say to someone we’ve just met that answers the question, “Who are you, what do you do, and why should I pay attention to you?” No one would really ask this question, of course, and I didn’t write it this way to be evil or mean. But let’s be honest – this is the intention.
It’s called an elevator pitch because it’s supposed to be brief. Something you could easily say between floors during an elevator ride. Elevator pitches still matter as we’re approaching unretirement. Whether you plan to transition to part-time or try freelancing, having an elevator pitch is a perfect way to start a conversation or capture someone’s attention.
During AARP’s webcast on “Sharpening Your Networking and Interviewing Skills Online”, they talked about elevator pitches still being relevant, especially in job search. But here’s an example of how to use an elevator pitch when you’re not looking for a job:
Tell people who you are. As in your name, title, etc. I am amazed at times when I’m introduced to someone that they say their name but nothing else. For example, “Hi! I’m Joe.” doesn’t tell people who you are. But saying “Hi! I’m Joe, owner of MoJo Bakery” does.
Share what makes you special. Add a little something extra to your introduction like, “Hi! I’m Joe, owner of MoJo Bakery. We have the best brownies in the city of Denver.” You could also tweak this to reflect an accomplishment like “Hi! I’m Joe, owner of MoJo Bakery. We just won Denver’s Best Brownie award.”
Explain what you’re looking for and what you can offer. Sometimes people will upfront this part as in “We’re looking for tasters to try our latest brownie.” Or “I’m looking for a company to put brownies in their employee breakrooms.” Another approach is to introduce yourself and wait for a question like “Nice to meet you Joe. What brings you here?”
Elevator pitches have value in building relationships. And, in our unretirement, relationships are still important. They help us get jobs, volunteer board positions, and frankly, just build friendships.
Many of the skills we’ve learned over the years – like elevator pitches – are going to help us in our unretirement. We just have to refine the message to align with our unretirement goals.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA