To understand what an elevator pitch is, imagine you’ve been chasing around a busy investor for days and you are suddenly together in the elevator riding up. You have exactly as much time as it takes them to reach their floor to pitch your idea and convince them to put money into your business.
The concept of the elevator pitch exists because people are busier than ever and if you don’t manage to attract their attention from the first moment of your speech or email, then you have lost your audience. What you need to say, the core of your idea, must be included in your first words and delivered with passion, eloquence and clarity.
Many business analysts now believe that not just business owners, but every employee and stakeholder in a business should be able to deliver an elevator pitch. For this reason, no matter what role you have in a company, you should keep reading this article.
So, how can you prepare the perfect elevator pitch? Here are some basic steps:
- Boil Down the Core Idea to a Sentence
What exactly do you want to tell people in your elevator pitch? Unless you are able to say it in a sentence, then you have not yet found your topic and approach. The most effective approach is the straightforward one.
Just look at how Sony describes their business in their tagline. In the ’90s, when they were ruling over the portable music players market, they defined their business as “Like no other”. As they shifted their scope towards video game consoles, and 3D television, it became “Make believe”.
These taglines are actually the core element of their elevator pitch. They tell the audience who they are and what they have to offer.
- Add Value to Your Proposition
After telling people what you do, your elevator pitch should give them reasons to care about what you say. After all, they have a wide range of options – why should they listen to your pitch and consider giving you their money?
When you move your elevator speech towards the value part, you must select your statements carefully, because they need to be backed by actual data. Whatever you say needs to be easy to search for and confirmed by actual company data, customer testimonials or sales numbers.
- Shape Your Pitch to Suit Your Listener Persona
It is one thing pitching your idea to a CEO, but it is quite another to pitch it to a small business owner. The first one has little time and a strong insight into technical and financial aspects. The second one has more time, but also needs more explanations to understand exactly what benefits they derive from doing business with you.
The key to a successful elevator pitch is using the adequate language and selecting the benefits which will truly make a difference for your potential investor, buyer or business partner.
- Ask Your Question
You have probably reached the point in your speech when the audience has a clear idea of who you are, what you do and how your products or services can help them. Now comes the critical point: make a demand. Tell them exactly why you are pitching to them.
After all, it is only natural, as a receiver of the message, to say: “Okay, that’s great, but what do you want from me?” Your elevator pitch is not a pitch at all if you don’t ask people to do something – contact you for further details, request more information about your product, or even decide to become an investor or stakeholder in your business.
- Be Enthusiastic throughout the Pitch
Even if you are not a great communicator, you should summon up all your persuasive skills and deliver your pitch with enthusiasm and eloquence. After all, if you are not enthusiastic about your own products, why should other people care about them?