You never know who you’re going to meet while you’re waiting for a flat white or when you’re in the elevator….so you better have your pitch ready to go.
An elevator pitch is not a new concept but it’s still entirely relevant. You often only have about 60 seconds to answer when asked “what do you do?” or “what’s your business about?” In that short time, you need to make sure you articulate the key information in a clear and concise way to ensure you make a lasting impression. You can think of your elevator pitch as a conversation or an icebreaker that will lead to further conversation and hopefully a business lead. No matter what type of small business you are in, you need a pitch. Here are seven tips to help you develop your pitch…
1. Have a purpose
You don’t want just talk about what you offer, you want to talk about the why. Why are you doing what you’re doing and why do customers connect with your business? For example, if you’re in the fitness industry you might say something along the lines of ‘We help clients to reach their fitness goals, transforming them into healthier and happier people through our unique classes and tailored personal training programs’.
2. Explain why you’re the expert
What makes you qualified and best suited to be doing what you do? You won’t have the time, nor do you want to, for you to recite your entire resume, so pull out the key facts and summarise. For example, “I have 15 years experience” or talk about your qualification. If you’ve won awards or received special recognition for what you’ve done, this should definitely be part of your pitch.
3. Make it credible
If you’re working with some bigger clients or you have results you can share, it’s worth sharing this information as it brings you instant credibility. A little bit of name dropping could bring a lot of credibility.
4. Leave them wanting more
Your elevator pitch is just a taster, a little introduction. It’s short and sweet, so don’t try and tell them absolutely everything. Just give enough information that they want to step out of that elevator with you and find out more.
5. Have a call to action
Be clear on what you want to get out of the conversation and how they can work with you. Whether they’re a potential investor, customer or employee, let your goals be known. If you’re trying to win over a new customer, let them know what they will get out of it.
6. Practice, practice, practice
Practice really does make perfect, so stand in front of the mirror in your bedroom and rehearse your pitch. You can also record it on your phone to check if you’re getting to the point and not waffling on. The more comfortable you are with your pitch, the more natural you’ll be.
7. Test and refine
Before you jump into using your pitch on future investors or customers, test out your elevator pitch out with friends or better still, try it out with strangers while you’re waiting for a coffee. All it takes is for you to ask someone what they do. They’ll likely return the question and bam…you’re on! You’ll soon work out what’s working and what’s not from how they respond.
So what’s stopping you? Get your elevator pitch together, practice, test and refine.
Originally published February 20 2017 , updated March 6 2017