Imagine this. You’re in an elevator getting ready to go up. The door is about to close and you hear someone from afar telling you to hold the door. So you do, and in walks a potential client. You know that this could be a golden opportunity to pitch in your greatest selling idea.
The real question is: Are you ready?
Will you be able to impress him/her in 30 seconds? Will you be able to concisely state the necessary points to grab their attention thus leaving your prospects wanting more?
The Elevator Pitch is usually described as the 30 to 60 second business description of what you do, why you do it, and why your prospects should work with you. The real challenge is in knowing how to explain your business and turn your dream prospect into a customer with such limited time at hand.
Luckily there is a lot you can do to improve your business pitch and help you deliver it in a more effective manner.
1. Write Everything Down
There is nothing better than writing what you are thinking down. Don’t just imagine what and how you are going to say. Jot it down. List down all the ideas that you think are important and would like to say. Look at what you wrote. Can you make it shorter? Of course you can. Keep on trying to make it as simple and straight forward as possible. Keep in mind that by the end you must have answered the following questions:
A. What is your product or service?
Briefly describe what it is you sell.
B. Who is your market?
Who you are selling the product or service to? What industry is it? How large of a market do they represent?
C. Who is behind the company?
Are there any skilled veterans that would grab someone’s attention?
D. Who is your competition?
It’s good to have competition. Competition means that your business model and concept works. What you really want to show them is your competitive advantage which brings us to our last question.
E. What is your competitive advantage?
What makes your company different than the rest? You will need to effectively express how your company is different. It might be key partners, a new technology, a particular expertise that sets you apart.
F. What are the prospects’ end-benefits?
How will your product or service change their lives?
Looking back at all the questions that need to be answered, we can now see why having a great Elevator pitch is a difficult and 60 seconds seems too little. This is why revisiting your written text to make it shorter is key.
2. Practice, Practice,Practice
Rehearse your pitch until you’ve gotten extremely comfortable with it on your own. Say it out loud to yourself, record yourself, and see if it is sticks to the 30 to 60 second limit. If you feel the need to make any changes to your pitch, go back and change what you have. When you’re finally comfortable with your content, practice it on your friends, coworkers or even family members and try to get as much feedback from them on your delivery and content.
3. Remember your business etiquette
When you finally end up meeting that prospect, whether it’s in an elevator, or you get introduced at a party or a business meeting, remember your etiquette. Firmly shake hands and introduce yourself. Be natural. Don’t rush into going all out with your business idea.
4. “Tell me more”
We’ve repeated many times that your elevator pitch needs to be short and done so for a good reason. At the end of your pitch, you don’t want to leave your audience going over numbers and facts, but instead, you want them to go away with an impression of you and your idea. You want them to look at you and say: “Tell me more”. With the limited time that you have, this should be your main goal.
If you succeed in leaving a favorable impression about yourself and have presented it in a concise manner, you will gain the opportunity to present your idea again and enjoy the luxury of time.
5. Things to Remember
A. Passion: Stay enthusiastic about your idea. You don’t need to be openly flashy and cliché introductions. Instead, stay excited in a manner that shows professionalism.
B. Know your audience: Keep your pitch tailored to the people you are talking to. For example, avoid using difficult technical terms with someone who might not understand them. Keep it simple and easy to understand so that you keep your audience interested. It would be great if you can write out several pitches to suit your different buyer personas.
C. Don’t over exaggerate: Stick to hard facts and never exaggerate the truth. You don’t want the credibility and authenticity of your message to be disregarded for saying an accidental farfetched idea. Introduce realistic numbers that would interest your prospects.
D. Don’t leave them with questions unanswered: Remember our list of questions above? These are things that prospects are interested in knowing. You don’t want to finish your pitch without having answered them all. If you don’t you’re just leaving your prospects unfulfilled instead of interested.