The exact nature of an elevator pitch can be found in its name. Usually, an elevator pitch stands for a quick summary of a business idea or project. Its purpose is to help gain the support of that idea from a potential investor. And as its name would suggest, you should be able to go through the entire pitch in the time it takes to travel from the top floor to the lobby in an elevator.
Some are under the false impression that its use is only for salespeople trying to promote their products or services. When used wisely, however, the elevator pitch can accomplish plenty, more than its intended function. With some careful crafting, the spiel can work to generate new leads, develop relationships, improve your overall networking efforts, and advance your career, among others.
You can use it to introduce your business to potential clients, partners, or investors. You can also use an elevator pitch to present an idea or initiative to your CEO. Or you can use one to promote yourself. Whatever the case, all elevator pitches need to be exciting, memorable, and short. It needs to grab someone’s attention in only a few moments, all the while providing useful information. Here’s what you need to know about the elevator pitch.
When Do You Use It?
The name of the elevator pitch also implies the types of moments when it comes in handy. Talking with someone in the elevator is something particularly official or scheduled. It is this kind of informal situation when seemingly rare opportunities arise. It is up to each of us to seize them when they do appear. But by their very nature, unexpected opportunities do not allow for preparation.
So, instead of finding yourself rambling or stitching incoherent ideas together, a well-crafted elevator speech will ensure that you will never be caught off guard. It will also give you the opportunity to organize your thoughts, formulate your ideas, and assure you that nothing important is left behind.
Without a bit of practice beforehand, 30 seconds is nowhere near enough time to include and present everything in the best light possible. What’s more, elevator pitches keep you in control of the situation, as it arises, sparing you from such feelings like anxiety, shyness, or fear.
In other words, you will always be prepared when someone asks you questions like “What do you do?” or “So, what’s your company?”
What Should An Elevator Pitch Contain?
First and foremost, a speech like this needs to be easy to follow and understand. Albert Einstein once said that “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” The same thing can also be said about an elevator pitch.
Even though there isn’t a one-size-fits-all example, there are some easy rules to follow as a basis for your speech delivery.
The Common Ground – The best way to connect with someone is by finding some common ground. The likeliest of places for commonality lies with typical problems. Ask the other person a question that’s able to identify this concern.
Use It – Once identified, use the person’s problem as a platform for your pitch by explaining what you do and how it helps with that problem.
The Call-to-Action – Always provide the listener with a call-to-action (CTA) that will accurately tell them what to do next. This CTA doesn’t have to be directed at them, per se, but in a more general manner. An excellent example of a CTA in this scenario should be something like “Do you know of any small businesses that may need accounting services? Here’s my card…”
An elevator pitch can take on many shapes and sizes. Nevertheless, you will need to be well versed, if it is to be successful. The more practice you have, the more natural it will become and the more opportunities it can generate.
Until the next time,