“Immunizing big companies against resource risk”, “the next industrial revolution – but sustainable this time”, “smart coatings of carbon nanotubes”, “shampoo ads without the fatuous claims”. These were just some of the elevator pitches delivered at the very successful course run by Marcel Dissel today.
Marcel led an audience of forty researchers (from PhDs to Profs) through principles, frameworks and ideas about some skills for researchers who are looking for industrial funding – who to target, how to get the first pitch right, how to sell in complex organisations. And did so in a lively and interactive day that included many tips, shared experience and enthusiastic discussion.
In very practical sessions we heard from researchers delivering their elevator pitches and discussed what worked and what didn’t. Several key messages emerged; the importance of finding a gripping example that engages your audience, having a phrase that summarises the pitch, communicating commitment and credibility – and being clear about what you want next!
The afternoon sessions built on the elevator pitches with four chosen for sales role-plays. Teams of researchers met with teams acting as industrialists and the sales meetings unfolded in front of an utterly gripped audience. Some teams picked up on the key frameworks and lessons, while others got bogged down with stroppy customers. Yet more insights brought to life in front of us and yet more researchers who have built real experience of how their propositions will sell and to whom.
Informal feedback is good and many have asked when we might do it again – watch this space.
And if you’re interested in a set of notes I drew from the day, just contact me at cb683 (at) cam.ac.uk