Ever heard of the term “elevator pitch”?
Say you get in on an elevator and a potential client asks: “What do you do?” You have at least 30-40 seconds to give that potential client the sales pitch of your life before he/she gets off on the next floor. That, right there, is your elevator pitch - a short speech summarizing who you are, what you do and why your listeners should care.
Sounds fairly simple, right? Nope. If you look at it, you’re basically condensing years of business experience and products into a few IMPACTFUL sentences. Your speech should not only be short, it should be able to answer all the major questions – the what, who and why - and be punchy without being too aggressive.
Following are tips on how you can develop a killer elevator pitch:
Start off strong.
Eighty percent of your pitch’s success will depend on how you craft your opening line. This could be a question or a statement that’ll entice them to listen to you for the full 45 seconds. Remember, you don’t have to tell your entire story in an elevator pitch. You’re halfway to success if you’re able to capture their attention and get them want to know more.
One of the common mistakes of entrepreneurs when answering the BIG question “What do you do?” is giving a vague answer. Don’t start at the macro level and give answers like “I work in the social media industry” or “I’m a social media consultant”.
Instead of giving vague answers, try focusing on the problems you solve: “I basically help people who are struggling to [talk about the problems you solve] and I help them by [talk about how you help them]”. By talking about how your business helps people, you become instantly relatable. Once they’re able to relate, you got them hooked.
Be simple and clear.
The last thing you want when delivering your elevator pitch is to confuse your listeners. Once they get confused, you’ve lost them. Even the most technical and most complex business topics should be broken down to grade-5-level English. Ever read Ernest Hemingway’s books? Notice how simple and clear his sentences are? Your pitch should be like that.
End with a call to action.
Remember, your elevator pitch is simply part of a marketing process offering an impactful summary of your business to get prospects interested, not a sale that you need to close.
Just like any form of marketing, you should end you elevator pitch with a subtle yet compelling call to action. One way to do this is to encourage them to contact you by giving them your business card. You can also book an appointment right there and then if they’re up to it.
Practice, practice, practice.
If you want to convince your listeners, you have to sound confident. Don’t mumble through your speech and never sound as if you are apologizing. The best way for you to be confident is to practice your pitch over and over again. Record it and then listen to it. You can also test deliver it in front of friends or family members.