Has the question “What do you do?” made you freeze on the spot at a networking event. Thinking about how to say it, how it applies to the person you’re speaking with, or simply… huh, what do I do again? If so, let’s develop your elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a key tool to share with others “what you do”. It’s worth taking time to sit down and work on it as there are many ways you can use it:
- In person conversations
- Virtual networking meetings
- LinkedIn connections
- Email introductions
An elevator pitch is particularly important when you are meeting someone for the first time, in a situation where your time is limited or when you are conversing with someone that can help you or your business.
Now, let’s dig a little deeper.
What makes an elevator pitch a must have?
An elevator pitch is a short explanation of what you do, the value you provide, and how you deliver that value. All delivered in 30 to 60 seconds.
It’s a powerful tool because it gives you a way to quickly explain what you do and why it matters. It’s important because you never know when an acquaintance might turn into your next client or business partner.
What makes a good elevator pitch?
- Keep it simple – your pitch needs to be relatable, interesting, and easy to understand.
- Clearly explain what you do – be concise and without industry jargon.
- Highlight your value proposition – what value does your work deliver. Why is it important, what problems does it solve and what solutions does it offer. One way to think of this is “Who do I serve with my work?”
- Demonstrate your expertise – put your experience in easy and relevant terms or an interesting statistic.
- Tell your story – explain how you came about your business and how it changed your life, talk about your commitment to the brand.
There is a great tv show in the USA called Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch, the show features 4 judges who watch as each contestant is given 60 seconds to deliver their elevator pitch. The judges then decide if they want to hear more about the business or not. The show is a great platform for finding inspiration when writing your own elevator pitch, you’ll get to see how other entrepreneurs tackle their elevator pitch and improve yours as you go.
Try it out
Practice your elevator pitch until you are comfortable with it. Practice delivering it in the mirror, this will help you with facial expressions and timing. Share it with someone not in your industry, do they understand it? Can they understand what you do?
While you don’t have a lot of time to deliver your elevator pitch, it’s important to speak clearly so your audience can understand what you are saying.
Relax and Smile
People do business with people they like, so it is important that you smile and let your personality show through your elevator pitch. You want your audience to see how passionate you are about your business, inviting them to join in.
Call to Action
A good elevator pitch, will ask your audience to do something or offer to do something for your audience. This should be adjusted accordingly, depending on who you are pitching to and what kind of role they would play in your business. The call to action you include could be:
- Schedule a meeting
- Ask for their business card
- Give them your business card
- Schedule an interview
- Make a referral
- Add your company to a bid list
Ultimately, you should have a list of different CTA’s ready to go, so when you’re put in a situation of delivering your elevator pitch you know which one to use.