You know how it is at a social gathering. Whenever you meet new people, one of the first questions anyone asks is “What do you do for a living?” If you’re like most of us, you probably murmur a quick response that’s your job title, and perhaps a very brief description of what you do.
While that might work at a party, it’s not how you’re going to generate interest with potential clients, partners or organizations you want to work with. That’s why it’s vital to perfect what’s known as “The Elevator Pitch.”
An elevator pitch is simply a way to tell others what you do over the length of an elevator ride (typically 30 seconds). The idea is that by the end of it, the person you’re speaking with will understand:
- What you do.
- Why you’re passionate about it.
- How you solve problems for people.
- The benefits you provide.
- Why they should learn more.
A good elevator pitch should be:
- About you – Talk about yourself in the first person (“I” statements).
- Passionate – Explain what’s great about you / your business.
- To the point – Don’t use more words than needed.
- Understandable – Anyone who hears it can clearly understand it.
How to write your elevator pitch
1. Start by thinking about really great things that you and your business do. Use the values behind your business and the problems you solve as a basis for this.
2. Think about why you care about this so much and why it’s your passion.
3. Explain how your business solves problems for others.
4. Explore the unique “wow” things your business does and the benefits it provides.
5. Explain how you’re qualified to solve the problem.
6. Think about why someone hearing your pitch would like to know more.
Go through each of these points and write down whatever comes into your head for each one. At the moment, you’re not trying to be concise, just to get everything down on paper.
Next, you’re going to refine what you’ve written. Go through each of your points and think about if it’s the best way you could represent yourself and your business. If it’s not, rewrite it until it is. Remember to use the first person “I.”
Now you’ll want to reduce the word count to make everything as concise as it can be. Go through each of your points and take out any unnecessary words.
Simplify your message and take out any jargon or “industry speak.” Everything should be easily understandable.
Putting your elevator pitch together
Finally, you’re going to link together the relevant statements to make a great elevator pitch.
- Start by saying what you do and giving the name of your business.
- Explain why you’re passionate about your business and how it helps other people.
- Explain the solutions you provide and the unique benefits behind your business.
- Finish by inviting them to find out more.
Once you’ve put the pitch together, spend some time reviewing and tweaking it so it reads really well. Then try saying your pitch out loud – you’ll probably need to tweak it a little more. Test your pitch out on your friends, colleagues and others, and refine it.
- Your pitch should be easy to memorize and say.
- It shouldn’t last for more than 30 seconds.
- It should be memorable and compelling.
- Speak your pitch with confidence and conviction.
- Don’t be afraid to continue tweaking and refining.
We’ll leave you with this elevator pitch from The Self Employed Website that really sums how the perfect pitch can really sell your business and services: “I speak to organizations that want to energize and excite their employees, get them working together, help them understand their core values, and allow them to realize what it means to be a team. I leave them invigorated, committed, and wanting more, and I usually get a standing ovation.”