The Oracle of Omaha, the world’s richest man. (Photo: Stephanie Kuykenal/Bloomberg News/Landov)
It’s 1:33am in Omaha and I can’t sleep.
Much like pre-Santa jitters as a 7-year old, I’m so excited to potentially meet Warren Buffett tomorrow for the 1st time that my little reptile brain won’t turn off. Ridiculous? Perhaps, but he (Warren, not Santa) is perhaps the greatest investor the US has ever produced.
So what do you say to the world’s richest man if you, by some miracle, end up standing at the urinal next to him? You better know in advance or you’ll sound like a Hannah Montana fan.
This is why learning to elevator pitch — how to deliver your message is 60 seconds or less — is one of the most important skills to develop if you ever plan on interacting with real players and demi-gods like the Oracle of Omaha…
Why? One example: there are 10,000+ people camping in the rain overnight just to attempt to meet Warren when he walks into the annual shareholder meeting tomorrow morning. 10,000 people.
Here are two examples of my elevator pitches, both related to the book.
The first was impromptu answer to “what is your name and what do you do?”, and the latter was filmed late one night for my new page on German Amazon.com.
For meeting VIPs in crowded settings, the goal should be to do 3 things in an introduction of no more than 60 seconds:
1st. Establish credibility. Cite 1-2 examples of social proof like media or association with reputable companies/organizations. Do not speak quickly during an elevator pitch. Slow and calm.
2nd. Make it clear you are not looking for money (unless you are) but have something of interest to discuss after much research, and then ask how you can follow up in a less hectic environment. Give them your card with below #3 handwritten on it.
3nd. Mention something very, very hard to forget about you that separates you from the rest. It doesn’t need to have anything to do with your reason for wanting to meet them. For me, tango is my default. I’ll close with something like: “Just so you remember, as I know you’ll meet a million people today, I’m the world record holder in the tango. Happy to give you and Astrid a lesson sometime if the stars align.” Referring to this odd fact will be important when you follow up.
If you meet them at an event or around other people, do not follow up within the next 3 days, as everyone else will. I like to give at least one week and then cite the bolded reason in the previous sentence as my reason for waiting.
Enjoy the below videos, and check out the timing on both ;)
Odds and Ends:
The German edition of 4HWW just came out, and I LOVE the cover. ‘Nuff said.
Posted on: May 3, 2008.