I almost cringe when I hear the term “Elevator Pitch” these days. It has been used so extensively that I automatically think “Warning, warning – sales pitch alert!” However, there is certainly a time and place to pull an elevator pitch out of your business “toolbox”.
Where might an elevator pitch be suitable?
At any given moment, you need to be ready to grab people’s attention and get them curious or excited about what you do. Any interaction can present an opportunity to talk about your business, yet a well-prepared elevator pitch will come in handy at:
- A networking event
- A business conference or event
- A friend’s party
Being able to capture someone’s attention with a catchy, witty description of what you do is far more engaging than simply stating “I’m an accountant”, or “I’m a plumber”. When you respond with a job title, they automatically place you in a “box” based on their experience and knowledge of what they think you do. You will be missing a great opportunity to impress or attract potential customers or investors.
But if you can engage them in a conversation by explaining how you solve a problem or fulfil a customer’s need, you have a far greater chance of securing a lead or referral. So rehearse a brief, persuasive elevator pitch and use it to seize every business opportunity.
So, how do you write an elevator pitch?
An effective pitch includes the following elements:
- what you do – a pithy message that shows what your business is about and what makes you unique
- an enticement to learn more – a hook that intrigues people, prompting them to want to know more about you and your business
- an encouragement for lead or referral – a clear and concise call-to-action
There are different ways to create your pitch. The most appropriate one depends upon what you are comfortable with and the situation you are in. So, how do you craft an effective elevator pitch?
To get you started, here are three techniques that are used quite a lot because they work:
The Slogan or Tag-Line Approach
This is a single line statement that hints at what you do and creates curiosity for your audience. For example, for my accounting business, my tag-line pitch would be:
“I keep Small Business Owners on Target”
This provides an indication of my ideal clients, and encourages the audience to probe for more information.
The Value Proposition
As a business owner, you need to identify your winning difference – the quality or qualities that set you apart from the competition. Here’s a template you can follow:
- Our (Products and Services)
- Helps (Customer Segment)
- Who want to (Task to be completed)
- By (how you reduce the customer’s pain)
- And (how you provide a win for the customer)
- Unlike Your competitor
This end part, although not said aloud, helps you to fine tune the pitch. Using the example of my accounting firm:
Our accounting firm
- Helps small business owners
- Who want to take control of their business and their figures
- By taking care of the red tape
- And conducting quarterly meetings to discuss the business performance
- Unlike most other accounting firms
The Geddes Pitch
Another way of writing a powerful elevator pitch is by proving that you can get results. The Geddes Pitch format forces you to think of a convincing proof that your product or service works.
- You Know How…
- We do…
- In Fact…
Again, applying this pitch to my accounting firm:
- (You Know How…) Most small business owners struggle to keep on top of their tax obligations and have little understanding of the financial aspects of their business?
- (We do…) At Archer Business Consulting, we offer quarterly review meetings to enable small business owners to manage their tax obligations and gain clarity around how profitable their business is on an ongoing basis.
- (In Fact…) We have seen our clients achieve growth in the range of 2x to 4x by working with us on an ongoing basis in reviewing their figures.
Final tips for developing your pitch:
Here are some bonus tips to remember when writing an amazing elevator pitch:
- Have a memorable hook.
- Don’t ramble.
- Be authentic.
- Ensure the pitch aligns with your personality.
When you know yourself and your business well, you can use any of these top techniques in creating the elevator pitch that is consistent with your brand and resonates with your target audience. If you have written a pitch before, see if you can tweak it a bit for more impact.
Over to you
Which technique on this list would you like to snag? When in doubt, try to write your elevator speech by using all these techniques, and then select the one you like the most.
Use your improved elevator pitch as often as you see fit. Try it with with different people at various situations and observe the number of lead or sale that you generate from the pitch.