How’s Your Elevator Pitch? 9 Tips to Make It More Effective
You have an unexpected opportunity to sell your big idea or new business venture to a potential new client or investor. The research shows that you’ll have NO MORE than 30 seconds to deliver your best pitch. Are you ready?!
If you own a business or are developing a product or service looking for clients or possibly investors, you should have an effective elevator pitch in your hip-pocket, ready to deliver at a moment’s notice.
Your business or idea is great. An elevator pitch identifies and delivers all that greatness in as little time as possible.
Too often we get excited and caught up in the details of our business, and want to share the all of the intricacies about why it’s so amazing when we have the opportunity. Consequently, your elevator pitch can lean more towards a lengthy preamble evolving into an even longer monologue of endless details describing not only your company but each of your products and services.
The result: a bored, uncomfortable and, ultimately, disinclined listener eagerly anticipating his, or her, escape.
Tips to developing an effective elevator pitch
Here are some easy tips to help you deliver the pitch that grabs attention rather than loses it:
Keep it short – say as little as possible. This is a fast-moving social media culture we’re living and working in. As stated earlier, your time will be limited, plan for as little as 30 seconds. The points to follow will help you refine exactly what you’ll say in such a limited amount of time.
Identify, define and REMEMBER your vision. Get in touch with why you started your business and what’s exciting about it… to you! You don’t want to sound like a sales pitch, you want your listener to connect with what’s exciting about your product or service. If you aren’t connected to the vision behind your business you can’t expect your listener to connect with what your selling.
Know intimately your value proposition. Know exactly, intimately and in precise detail, what makes your business, product, service, unique and of value. This is what you’re selling. Understand it. Own it.
Authenticity wins. Don’t waste valuable time trying to impress with industry jargon. Get straight to the point with real language to share what you’re doing, why it’s exciting for you and what’s in it for them.
Who is your ideal subject: Investor? Client? Employer? Make yourself familiar. One size DOES NOT fit all. Take a long think, and imagine who it is you want to be pitching to. Who are they? What do they care about? What do they need – what is their problem (‘pain point’) – and how can you provide for, or solve, it?
An understanding of whom you want to target and what drives them will provide you with the insight you need to help draft your 30 second pitch. If you can identify your subject: the ideal investor, client, employer; you can refine your pitch so it feels the perfect fit for that special listener.
Your pitch is simply the the start of what will be an actual conversation. Is your listener nodding attentively. Is she interested asking questions. Connection! Now’s the opportunity to delve further into the details.
Ask a great question. Don’t forget a simple and fairly universal human fact: what we all love to talk about most is ourselves. So, it can’t be all about you. Get them talking about something that is meaningful, important, significant and compelling to them. If you can get your subject talking about himself in a meaningful way, establishing a connection with you, you’re increasing your chances for real memorability. Also, they might just be that much more receptive to your offer to continue the conversation and, eventually, to your offer to take the next step in the journey of becoming your next ideal client or giving you money.
Depending on the company, you might find this tip gets immediately catapulted to the top of the list. Read your room!
Denied? Don’t get caught up in the rejection. The entire process from concept to draft to delivery, offers you the opportunity to better identify your vision, your ideal listener and better hone your spiel. If it doesn’t connect, so be it.
Lastly, practice! It’s natural for a new pitch to feel awkward at first so the key is to practice it until it feels natural and meaningful to you. Then breathe and smile. Your elevator pitch will come across much better when you’re relaxed.