An effective elevator pitch can break the ice in networking scenarios and used the right way, can garner new clients, customers, or investors. Working through developing an elevator pitch will give you more clarity surrounding your target audience and business goals. You’ll also gain a degree of confidence once you know you have the words to say when asked, “So, what do you do?”
What it is - An elevator pitch, also known as an elevator speech or elevator summary, is a short overview of your company, products, or services.
There’s a reason it’s called an elevator pitch; you have a small window of time to make a good first impression. You want the pitch to take no more than 60 seconds (30 seconds is best) to deliver at a comfortable speaking pace, which is generally 150-250 words.
Why you need it - You need an elevator pitch because it can be a powerful marketing tool for your business. Once you’ve created it, you can use it over and over again in different settings.
When you’ll use it - You generally use an elevator speech in a business setting, such as a face-to-face networking function. But it can be used anywhere you might find a potential client, customer, or investor.
Here are the steps to developing an effective elevator pitch.
1 - Define who you are.
Write one sentence about who you are.
Example: “I am a [job title] whose focus is [area of expertise].”
2 - Describe what you do.
You can use your company’s mission statement, product guide, or service listing as a starting point. Write a sentence or two about what you do.
Example: “I consult/develop/diagnose with ___ on how to ___ in order to become more profitable/effective/efficient.”
3 - Identify your ideal client/customer/investor.
Develop another 1-2 sentences about who your ideal clients, customers, or investors are.
Example: “My ideal clients are ____ and ____ businesses. My clients understand the value of ___ and are ready to ____, but find it challenging to ____, ____, and _____.”
4 - Explain what’s unique and different about you or your business.
Refer to your company’s unique selling proposition (USP) if it exists. Write another couple of sentences about what sets your business apart from your competitors.
Example: “I’m/my company is in a unique position to help my/our clients because __________. I have figured out how to help by ____________. “
5 - State what you want to happen next.
Craft 1-2 sentences about what you want your contact to do next.
Example: “I’d be happy to schedule time to talk more … and see how we may be able to work together.”
6 – Create an attention-grabbing hook.
Using the details from the previous five steps, create an attention-getting hook. You’ll probably notice a theme in the statements you’ve already written. Now write a sentence that will grab your audience’s attention and get them engaged.
Example: “Have you ever felt ____ by ____ and wished you could _____?”
7 - Put the pieces together.
Create transitions, move sentences around, rewrite, and remove details that don’t add quality until you create a conversational pitch that captures your most important points in a conversational and engaging manner.
8 – Write it out.
Role-play a networking event with coworkers or team members so each of you can practice. Once you have the pitch done, write out your final draft, and memorize it so you always have it ready.