Creating the Perfect Elevator Pitch: Win Over Your Audience In Under a Minute

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The Power of The Elevator Pitch

Everyone’s heard of them, and maybe you know you need one, but you still haven’t taken the time to create the perfect elevator pitch.

Everyone’s heard of them, and maybe you know you need one, but you still haven’t taken the time to create the perfect elevator pitch.

Having an elevator pitch is not only a back-pocket tactic for an unexpected opportunity, but your elevator pitch can also help you clarify your brand, build confidence in your purpose, and potentially land a client.

An elevator pitch can do no wrong for anyone: from the green business development rep in a large organization, to a work-from-home professional trying to build a business. A well-crafted elevator pitch is a multi-faceted tool that every entrepreneur, corporate executive, and sales professional should have at the ready.

What Exactly is an Elevator Pitch?

In a nutshell, an elevator pitch is a persuasive sales pitch that’s approximately the length of an elevator ride—under 60 seconds.

The perfect elevator pitch will give enough information to entice an audience and solidify your brand, without drowning them in the ins and outs of your business. Think of it like a 30-second commercial: You give the highlight reel to an audience in a time-pressed environment, so you can establish connection and, hopefully, encourage them to ask questions.

The ideal elevator pitch will pique the interest of your audience, allow an opportunity to give them your contact information, and will put forward a shining example of how your brand is the ideal solution. You want to create enough connection to harvest the results “outside of the elevator.”

Crafting the Perfect Elevator Pitch

If developing the perfect elevator pitch is on your things to do (and it should be), you need to start by identifying a problem or issue that your product or service solves.

Why are you doing what you do?

What is the fire behind your brand?

Establishing what makes you/the world/your audience tick can be the establishing point in your elevator pitch. Then you can move on to formulating it:

Identify a solution. Once you know the issue, what’s the solution? What does your brand solve? The entire focus of your sales pitch is how you, your product, or your business solution is the knight in shining armor they didn’t know they needed. Identifying a solution is identifying your entire purpose.

Define what you do in a sentence or two. Now that you know the problem you’ll be solving (and why you’re the one to solve it) your biggest challenge is to put that solution into just a sentence or two. It can’t be too vague to cause confusion, but it can’t be so detailed that it loses impact and meaning.

Trying to explain your business in a few phrases is probably why so many professionals neglect to create the perfect elevator pitch, but being able to identify your brand in a few sentences is like creating a slogan or catch phrase: It entices interest and still brings clarity.

“Our software saves 100+ hours of production time,” or “89% of our small business clients hit the million-dollar-mark last year” can quickly establish a positive, proven reputation that keeps your audience interested.

“We’ve done a lot of business” sounds vague and almost desperate to prove a point, so putting a few true numbers in the mix will keep you reputable.

Ask a question. Taking a moment to engage your audience with a yes/no question is another way to relate your solution to them and to solidify a connection. The perfect elevator pitch will include an interactive question, but stay away from “So, are you interested?” The question you ask should show interest. Ask if their business struggles with a certain pitfall, or if they have a solution in place to beat the budget.

Elevator Speech Tips for Success

Knowing the ideal moment to present an elevator pitch can be vital to its success. Avoid moments when your target audience is distracted or emotional, and don’t interrupt if your audience is otherwise engaged.

Knowing if your audience can benefit from your brand can also be key in your success; keep in mind, though, that if you’re winning enough in your presentation, they may also refer you to someone else one day. A cloud-based application for large companies may not apply to a stay-at-home caregiver, but it may apply to their neighbor who works for a major bank.

Just like in every aspect of life, practice is a key element in how to create a perfect elevator pitch. Practice your pitch to your friends and family, ensure it’s not too long, and keep going over it until you know it well and it sounds natural.

The perfect elevator pitch shouldn’t sound robotic or forced; it should come across as conversational and easy. Keep practicing until it’s second nature.

Keep Shooting for the Perfect Elevator Pitch

No one will create his or her first elevator pitch and use that exact same one forever. I guarantee over time your pitch will become flat, boring, or just plain obsolete.

If you notice a lack of success in your delivery, it’s time to head back to the drawing board and start again. Don’t try to modify the pitch you’ve been using for the last five years; start from scratch. Revisit the problem your client needs a solution to and build a pitch that responds to it.

Even if your elevator pitch works for you, keep tweaking it as you go along and revise it over and over as you get more comfortable with delivery.

Mike

Mike

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