Don’t do an elevator pitch. Start a conversation.

by Pierre Morsa

If you’re a Startup founder, you’ve heard this all before. “Your elevator pitch should be able to convince anyone in 30 seconds in an elevator”. Hold on hold on hold on! Let’s pause for a few seconds. Imagine that the roles are reversed. You’re in the elevator, lost in your thoughts, minding your own business. There is one other person in it, who you don’t know, and that person is looking intensely at you. You find it weird and you feel a bit uncomfortable. But the worst is yet to come. That person starts talking to you! By the time your brain switches from “where did I put my keys” to “why is he talking to me and what is he talking about?” the doors of the lift open, and you get out of it as fast as possible, not looking back from fear that weirdo could start talking to you again.

That scene in Wall Street where a young Charlie Sheen pops out of nowhere and convinces Michael Douglas? It’s fake. Most of what you see in Hollywood movies is fake.

You don’t deliver a cold pitch to someone. You start a conversation. Listen to what the other person has to say first. Take the time to break the initial “I don’t know that person” barrier. Create an exchange. This can be done in less than one minute. Deliver your “elevator pitch” only after you took the time to create a connection, or it will send you down.