13 volumes of business basics in 15 secs

So what does a business mentor do? How can he help you?

In many ways, it is all about clearing away the irrelevant issues and then helping the team to concentrate towards understanding the fundamentals of their business. You engage with people in a manner that allows them to find the correct direction.

Sounds simple enough. Yesterday, I received a promotional offer from the Harvard Business Review (HBR), whose monthly magazine has some of the best and hottest items on managerial technique. They want to sell me 13 volumes of business fundamentals – over 1,800 pages. Probably brilliant stuff, but who has the time?

With some irony, almost immediately afterwards, I received notice of How to Master Your Elevator Pitch…Here’s how to tell it shorter and smarter.

How do you snag – and hold – the attention of someone important who has at least 15 other things on her mind? How can you turn a quick hello into a promising business lead without being abrasive?

Well not by quoting even one volume from the HBR, that’s for sure. The issue was brought home for me in April, when I was mentoring a group, who wish to start up a new service business. “So, what is it that you want to do,” I asked? And back came a full, winding, vague synopsis that could be heard out of the mouths of 99% of business folk around the world.

I continued: “Now assume that you have just got in to an elevator or lift with me. I am the one person you need to impress and you have 15 seconds to do it. What will you say?” Silence followed by shock followed by “that’s impossible” came the immediate responses.

A few weeks on and the team is very focussed. They are recruiting the first round of clients. Task definitions between them are clear. A website is being planned with dedicated content.

Hopefully, they will read the HBR manuals as they expand. What will allow them to achieve that position is a consolidated sense of commercial direction, created at the outset.

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One Comment on “13 volumes of business basics in 15 secs”

  1. aviya@israel Says:

    example with elevator is just brilliant!


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