1 WHAT IS AN ELEVATOR PITCH?
An elevator pitch is meant to be a short, focused description all about you and your business. The term came over here from America and describes the amount of time a pitch should take, anywhere between 30 seconds to two minutes, the length of time a lift journey should take. This pitch should convey to the listener not only exactly what your business does but how it could benefit them. Easy right!?
2 WHY IS IT SO HARD TO DO?
Well, anyone who has been in a room with lots of eyes staring at you expectantly knows that it’s very easy to feel daunted, tongue-tied and generally not up to the challenge. When you’re so passionately involved in your business it can also be tricky to condense how you feel about your business into such a short space of time.
There can also be a bit of a ‘deer caught in the headlights’ moment. When confronted with a virtual stranger asking the dreaded ‘so, what do you do?’ it can be easy to stammer your way through a short spiel and then feel like an opportunity has passed you by afterwards.
3 WHERE MIGHT YOU DO AN ELEVATOR PITCH?
At any moment you could be asked to deliver a pitch about your business. Some situations that come to mind are:
- Introductory business conversations. These usually get pretty quickly around to the question – What do you do?
- Speed networking – hands up who have been signed up for this, and dreaded every moment of it?
- At business expos or shows. Going from stall to stall having the same conversation because everyone wants to know the same thing. Hearing everyone’s pitch and having to deliver yours in return.
- At networking events where everyone puts their business card into the pot and whoever is drawn is given some time to talk about their business. I’ve been in this situation and didn’t feel fully comfortable until the moment I saw that mine wasn’t the card drawn. And yes, I accept that in that situation I was a complete wimp!
4 HOW DO YOU CREATE YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH?
First, you need to come up with your values. Keep it to four or five words that you and your team feel really encompass you and your company’s values and ethics.
Then put these together into sentences that you feel answer the questions your potential customers will be asking of you, how you can solve their problems.
Keep it short and straight to the point, people make up their minds pretty quickly. Keep it simple. Leave out the jargon, unless you’re talking to a professional peer.
Keep it memorable. Maybe throw in a rhyme, or a catchy hook. It’ll keep people thinking of you long after you’ve met.
5 WHAT’S NEXT?
Test out these sentences and phrases with trusted friends and family members, get feedback and refine, refine, refine.
Then, practice, practice, practice. Once you have finalised your pitch and put together something you feel works for you then keep on working on it until you feel it flows without much need for thought or effort on your part. The better you know your own elevator pitch, the more confident your potential customers will be in placing their trust in you.
6 ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
Remember, when delivering your perfected pitch to a prospective customer/client, they might not be in the market for your business there and then but if you make it memorable you might be the one they think of when they are in the market.
Above all make sure that your audience remembers that you are the solution to their problems!
What are your best tips for creating the perfect elevator pitch? Comment below!