The one thing you as entrepreneurs have to get used to early on in your career is the art of networking. If you go to any of those events or if you just meet someone, the first question you usually get is: “What do you do?”
What makes the perfect elevator pitch? The perfect elevator pitch answers the four core questions, What, Why, How and Who, in a way that it creates interest from the person you speak to.
The idea of an elevator pitch is to convey all the important information about your business, products, and services in one or two sentences. There are several stories on how the Elevator Pitch came about. One of them tells the story of a journalist who was trying to pitch his stories to the ever-busy editor.
He never got an appointment to actually talk to the editor, so he tried his best to get the editor wherever possible. One of the places was the elevator. He waited until the editor entered the elevator and jumped in as well. That ride gave him 30 seconds to bring over his idea.
For this to work he had to cut down the story to its essence, but still, keep it interesting enough to get the editor’s attention.
Today, everybody is so busy and bombarded with so much information all the time, that most of the things we hear go in in one ear and out of the other. In recent years we tend to go to extremes to get the attention of others.
But what if you don’t have to? What if you could create that pitch that will get the attention you seek in the best way possible?
Every Elevator Pitch needs to answer four Questions
A good elevator pitch has to be complete. That means the listener has to get the whole story but doesn’t need all the small details. He needs the information up to a certain level. It also needs to be of interest to the listener.
If you want to pitch your latest idea for children to someone who hasn’t got any and has nothing to do with children, you will struggle to get their attention. But if this person is a potential investor, the pitch will be less about the children as the profit the idea might bring.
That means an elevator pitch might have to change depending on who you’re talking to. I will show you how this works in this article.
To create your perfect elevator pitch you need to make sure that it answers the following questions:
What – What is your product or service? (name, type, and category)
Why – Why are you selling this product and service? (the problem you’re trying to solve)
How – How are you solving the problem? (the solutions your product or service provides)
Who – Who benefits from the solutions? (your target customer)
Let’s take an example:
I’ve developed an online learning platform (What). It is designed for anyone who’s thinking about starting a business (Who) and is looking for support, guidance and a place to improve one’s skills (Why). It provides training videos, webinars, a Q&A section, one-on-one coaching sessions and gives access to hundreds of valuable resources (How).
Get the Attention
The goal of an elevator pitch is to create interest. We want to get attention and create some excitement, but we should bring over the whole story as well.
To get the attention you need to have an idea of what the person you talk to might be interested in. The best way to find out is to ask. For example a simple question like:
How much support do you think would you need to start a successful business?
could do the trick. It all depends on who you speak to and how much you know about them.
This is a very simple question. If the listener shows any interest, he will give you some indication. Now you can follow up with the elevator pitch mentioned above.
If he’s not interested, he will let you know as well and you can take it from there.
As a tip: keep those questions open, so they are not easily answered with yes or no. You’re not really worried about the answer in itself, you just want the attention and the focus on the elevator pitch to follow.
What to look out for
An Elevator Pitch is not a Sales Pitch. It isn’t about selling your products or services, it is about conveying what you do and why you do it. The sales come much later.
The concept of an elevator pitch goes more towards branding than sales. Whoever you speak to, those people will make up their mind about you within a very short period of time. Present those people with a clear statement about you, will not only direct their thoughts in the right direction but also shows that you know what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, why you’re doing it and who it is for.
Even if they are not interested in your products or services, it will leave a very strong impression and never underestimate the recommendations that might come from this.
How to create your own Elevator Pitch
If you haven’t created your elevator pitch yet, today is the right time to do so.
Put it on your task list with the highest priority and get on it as soon as possible. There is no reason why an elevator pitch has to follow a specific order. It is of far greater importance that the pitch makes sense.
Look at this elevator pitch and take it as a guide:
We’ve developed a process (How), that gives entrepreneurs (Who) with low financial means (Why) a step by step guide on how to create a passive online business in 60 days (What).
Write each question on a separate piece of paper. Add all the points you can think of below each question. Use single words, don’t try to make sentences yet. Mark each point based on its importance to your business.
Take the best ones and write them on sticky notes. Place them beside each other and form sentences based on the order. If it doesn’t feel right, change the order.
Avoid going into too much detail. Pick the strongest points and stick with them. Test your pitch as much as possible and refine it on the way. Again, avoid getting into too much detail and allow your listeners to find their space.
I would advise you to iterate and answer each question separately in a short sentence and then put them together in the order that flows easiest.
Now, tell your pitch to your friends and family and see if they get it. The best you can hope for are comments like: “I didn’t know you do that!”
Refine your Elevator Pitch
It is important to use the language your potential customers speak in your elevator pitch. Words are more than just spoken letters. They come with feelings, history, and meaning. Use this to improve on your pitch all the time.
This is why it is so important to have your keywords defined. They are the core of what it is all about. All the rest of the words are used to string them together so it creates a flow and makes sense. Those string-words can easily adjust to your client’s language.
I am sure once you’ve got your pitch working your confidence level will go sky high and you’ll become eager for a chance to use it.
Now, here is my question to you: What do you do?
Use the comment section below and tell me your pitch!