‘Al­ways Have a FiveMinute El­e­va­tor Pitch Ready’

Mo­gau Seshoene, founder/CEO of The Lazy Makoti;

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - CAREER & CASH -

‘You never know who you might meet at any given mo­ment, so be ready to pitch your­self – and your busi­ness – wher­ever, when­ever.

‘Re­cently, I was at a restau­rant and recog­nised a pro­ducer. I’ve al­ways wanted my own TV cook­ing show as part of my busi­ness, and I knew this was my chance to get her at­ten­tion and im­press her. The pro­ducer was at a ta­ble by her­self, so I ap­proached her and asked if we could chat. She told me she didn’t have much time as she was wait­ing to meet some­one, so if I wanted to say some­thing I’d need to make it quick. So I did! Within five min­utes I’d sum­marised who I was, what my busi­ness was about and how I saw her get­ting in­volved in my cook­ing-show idea. By the end, she’d given me her busi­ness card so we could set up a for­mal meet­ing, and now I have a TV show in the works!

‘You might meet your next in­vestor or mil­lion­rand client at a friend’s wed­ding, a braai or a shop. There isn’t al­ways time to set up a meet­ing, and of­ten you need to im­press them quickly to spark their in­ter­est.

‘A five-minute pitch is es­sen­tial to have on hand. It should be a short over­view of who you are, what you do and what “prob­lem” you’re pro­vid­ing a so­lu­tion to. Think of it this way: if you walked into the same lift as Richard Bran­son, how could you best con­vince him to back you in the time it takes for the lift to go from the ground floor to the fifth floor? That’s why I call it the el­e­va­tor pitch. Know your story and your unique sell­ing point – and al­ways be ready to share them.’ ■

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