From your local coffee shop to a networking happy hour to meeting your significant other’s friends for the first time, typically the first thing people ask is “So what do you do for a living?”
Today, while the supply chain discipline is more widely known, it’s still important to quickly and effectively be able to articulate what you do and the value you bring within your organization in layman’s terms.
It’s always important to have a quick 30-60 second elevator pitch prepared for ANYONE you meet, as you never who you encounter and how they could not only help you in your career but perhaps use your company’s services.
When developing your response, be sure to keep these elevator pitch tactics in mind:
- Clear- Especially in the supply chain world, be sure to use language that everyone understands. The more you break it down into layman’s terms, the better.
- Quick– Keep it short, as most people lose attention after 30 seconds.
- Engaging– Use attention-grabbing words that not only illuminates what you do but also keeps the listener interested.
- Targeted– Be sure to have an outcome in mind. Are you trying to make a sale? Gain a prospect? Market yourself? You may have to tweak your pitch depending on the outcome.
2023 Supply Chain Job Market Favors Employers
The Pandemic disrupted the hiring landscape across most every industry. In supply chain, employers had to scramble to find talent and were willing to part with huge comp packages. The advent of remote and flexible workplaces became a staple of most every job offer, and employees have greatly benefited. But, since then, inflation, lower demand, and more creative talent solutions like fractional consulting and co sourcing have allowed employers to retain more of their current talent.
What does this have to do with elevator pitches? Everything. You need to be able to quickly and capably get across what you do, how well you do it and the value of your experience because you never know who might be listening. Maybe someone needs an interim solution and heard you say that you’re not in the market for a full time gig but have the qualifications this person needs.
Say less. Don’t waste words.
In the early 2000s, responding with “I work in Supply Chain” gave most people the “deer in the headlights” look. Now it’s one of the most sought after fields because of the highly specialized nature of the positions and the relatively shallow talent pool.
Write Out What You Do
A great place to start is to just write what you do. Try to do this in at least 10 different ways, and avoid editing at this point. The goal is to get as many variations of what you do down as possible.
A good elevator pitch can be used in a variety of situations, i.e. as a personal branding or corporate branding tool that can be used either in a business or social setting. What will be the purpose(s) of your pitch? Do you imagine you’ll be using one mostly for marketing yourself? Making a sale? Searching for a job? If you don’t know where to start, a good framework is below:
My name is (Name, Title, Company). I help (Target Audience) with (Unique Value Proposition/ Action Statement).
It’s important to note as well (depending on the goal) that you use terms that everyone can understand. In the supply chain discipline, there are many phrases or abbreviations that only fellow supply chain professionals would know, so you’ll want to make sure that you have variations that anyone can comprehend.
Give Yourself Time to Reflect
What you might have now looks more like a group of thoughts than an elevator pitch. So it’s important to take a step back after developing your initial ideas before finalizing your pitch. A set of fresh eyes can make a difference. Elevator pitch tactics are wise to let it sit overnight if possible and take another look at it later.