I don't claim to be the master of the elevator pitch. It took me months of meeting investors and sponsors before I came up with a pitch that works for me. But I do hear a lot of them because I play with business executives every week in pro-amateur tournaments, so I've learned a few things about what works. Recently I heard the kind of elevator pitch that violated pretty much every rule in the book -- or at least in my book.
I missed the cut in Pebble Beach a couple of weeks ago. That was the 4th event this year where I've missed the cut. Needless to say, I was not in a good mood when I came out of the locker room about 20 minutes after I had walked off the green.
Then up walks someone I don't know. He asks me for a moment of my time and, a bit distracted, I said yes. His opening line to me was, "Man, when are you going to get some more experience on your bag?" This is golf-speak for, "Your caddie sucks."
For the next few minutes he proceeded to tell me how a little change is good for everyone, how my caddy was affecting my game, and why I needed someone who has more experience on the PGA Tour. And, as luck would have it, he happened to be the man for the job.
Now, for the most part, I'm usually non-confrontational. But there he was in front of the Tour locker room, in front of lots of players and other caddies, trashing my own caddie, Josh, and soliciting me for work. This guy struck a nerve and picked the wrong time to try to ask me for a job.
I paused. Then I said loudly enough for everyone in the near vicinity to hear, that I was not shopping for a new caddie, thank you very much, and that even if I were, he would be the last person I would hire. You can say as much as you like about my game -- I can handle it; but dogging my current caddie? Completely unprofessional.
And it wasn't just that. This guy made all kinds of amateur moves:
1. He never gave me his name. What happened to starting a conversation by introducing yourself? I still have no idea who this guy was. (Though in retrospect, this guy is probably glad he never gave me his name.)
2. He demonstrated that he has no sense of timing. Pitching me 20 minutes after I missed the cut? And right outside the player locker room, no less? Man, I'm a rookie -- I'm not a guy who's hard to reach. Email me. Tweet me. Send me a message on Facebook. Or just use common sense and walk up to me tomorrow.
3. He made no effort whatsoever to find out how I do things. If he had, he would have learned that I'm fiercely loyal to Josh. If Josh were doing a crappy job, that's one thing. But right now I'm the one doing a crappy job out there. In less than 8 months, Josh helped me go from rookie on the Nationwide Tour to rookie on the PGA Tour. I'm pretty sure he's doing something right.