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In an elevator with David Bowie--how I blew my chance

Laura15SPLaura15SP subscriber Posts: 1
edited July 2006 in Elevator Pitches
I was just wondering how many times any of you felt that you missed a big business opportunity because you didn`t have a compelling elevator pitch.
And so no one is embarassed, I`ll start.
I was once in an elevator with David Bowie. He is super tall, extremely pale and he has these piercing INTENSE eyes. Need-less-to-say, I did not have a good pitch at the time. I simply said, "Oh, hello, Mr. Bowie, are you going to Details Magazine?" Details was on the top floor of the building I worked in. He said, "Nope, I`m going to visit Philip." (the New Age composer Philip Glass who also had space in the building) I said, "Oh, well, it`s a pleasure to meet you I`m a big fan of your work!!" (Like he`s never heard that before!!) He nodded politely and exited on the 10th floor. If I only had a GREAT elevator pitch, who knows, maybe I`d be marketing his latest CD or something.
I also have a story that I call "The Triumph of The Pitch" which I`ll share in a future post. This one is how I pitched a top VC, got immediate buy in from him, and I didn`t even have to say a word.


  • rocknroll333rocknroll333 subscriber Posts: 2
    Celebrites are just people like you and me. I am contstantly in Hollywood and introduced to and work with celebrities all the time...yet Im extremely shy.
    Taking a chance and telling people about your business ideas is what you have to be passionate about, wheather they are a Celebrity, Angel investor or VC.
    If you are not comfortable putting yourself out there and know you freeze up in situations like you described...the best thing for you to do is to have an outgoing person promote your business for you. It can be a friend or employee. We all know the social butterflys in our group of friends have a special magic when it comes to meeting people and promoting ideas.  Since i am shy i actually have two "wingmen" who help me out in situations.
    Example: I went to the black carpet event for the Vh1 Rock Honors show in Vegas, May 2006 since my company Groove Rock Gear was a sponsor. I took my mom with me...because she is the best person I know to promote me and my company. While i was getting a massage in the Spa VIP lounge, my mom was in the other room with the Vh1 executives and all their corporate sponsors from JetBlue Airlines to Curve Perfume.  By the time my hour massage was complete when I entered the main lounge, my mother already gave my elevator pitch to everyone and had collected all business cards for me. She then introduced me as the founder and her daughter allowing me to comfortably talk to all those executives and form alliances.
    Just be creative and if you are not as outgoing as you need to be to network and pitch your ideas, find a friend who is willing to assist you.
    Listen to my elevator pitch today on startupnation or the archive on July 24 when the online downloads are available.
    p.s. I am a finalist in the Airlines contest - vote for me "Rocknroll333"
  • Laura15SPLaura15SP subscriber Posts: 1
    I think you make a GREAT point!! I call what you describe the "Third Party Pitch" so when you were getting your massage your Mom was telling everyone about who you are and what you do.
    I often advise my clients to go to a networking event with a business associate that they respect, have worked with and don`t mind promoting. You can then meet a bunch of people and if the opportunity arises, you can let the person know about what you do and what your friend does. I`ve found this to be very effective. Many of my clients are women who are not very comfortable promoting themselves, however, they have no problem telling the whole world about their hair stylist, real estate agent and financial planner. The Third Party Pitch works extremely well for them as long as they are partnering with people who are willing to return the favor and pitch them too.
    Of course this would not have worked in the elevator with Mr. Bowie, since that was a fluke and there was no chance to have any advocates there to pitch me, so I was left to pitch myself. That experience and many others like it, both positive and negative, inspired me to co-found my company in 2002, so that anyone who wanted to could create their elevator pitch ahead of time and avoid missing any opportunities.
    I`ve also found that even though it`s excellent to always have wing-men (or wing-women as the case may be!) many times potential partners, clients and press want to speak directly to the founder of the company, so it`s always good to be able to pitch yourself effectively too!

  • rocknroll333rocknroll333 subscriber Posts: 2
    Good Points! I know what you mean about being stuck in the Elevator..My company CEO had a schedule conflict and could not give the startupnation pitch..which left only me to do it. Check it out later today or on the 24th on the SuN podcast...
    so only in extreme emergencies do I pitch...after that I leave it to my wing-women..lol
  • Laura15SPLaura15SP subscriber Posts: 1
    I look forward to hearing your pitch. I checked out your site grooverockgear.com and I like the women`s white wings and women`s Lounder tees the best.
    One of my clients is an Entertainment Lawyer here in NYC who reps a lot of new and upcoming bands, perhaps she would be a good contact for you? If so, let me know and I`ll set it up.

  • rocknroll333rocknroll333 subscriber Posts: 2
    Hi Feel free to pass on my contact info to her. we design band merchndise. I do have an entertainment lawyer in beverly hills for our company.
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