The elevator pitch is an important tool in your marketing arsenal. This succinct narrative can create a big impact in someone’s mind. Succinct is key; in fact, the shorter it is the better. Doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Well, give it a try. Describe your business in an engaging manner to someone in an elevator, and stop when you reach the next level. Can you do it well?
Of course, this is a hypothetical situation. A random co-passenger in an elevator is unlikely to be overly interested in your business - but the point stands. An elevator pitch should not exceed 30 seconds, because that is the time an elevator takes to move between levels. That is all the time you have to make that first and, hopefully, lasting impression.
An elevator pitch is not written only to interest a prospective client. It is not always a brief summary of your service or product. You could compose an elevator pitch of 20-30 seconds just to introduce and promote yourself before the doors close, literally. Here are some tips to write an impressive elevator pitch.
Note the Main Ingredients of Your Elevator Pitch
Suppose you run a health food store called Best Natural Health Supplements in a suburb called ‘Grape Vineyard’, and your loyal customers usually describe your store as ‘authentic’.
When you want to describe this store to a stranger in less than half a minute (in the elevator or elsewhere), these are points you should consider.
- Select a word that evokes an emotional reaction when your business is mentioned. In the example case, that word could be ‘authentic’.
- List your products, your services, and your location. In this case, it would be ‘Natural health supplements’ with Grape Vineyard as the location.
- Next, write what is special about your store. There are so many stores that sell natural health supplements. What makes yours stand out? What do you do differently? Perhaps your store doesn’t just sell natural supplements but takes a holistic view of health and offers yoga classes, Reiki sessions, and acupuncture. You also have a panel of dieticians to advise customers on special diets such as vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free.
- Finally, write about the biggest benefit your customers get when they shop at your store. You could say, ‘our customers leave our store, feeling confident that the natural supplements are potent and will improve their health naturally, without any side effects.’
Put these points together in a convincing way that will compel your prospective customers to take action.
“Our loyal customers call Best Natural Health Remedies the only authentic store in Grape Vineyard for natural health products. Unlike other stores, we don’t stop with just selling natural supplements. We take a true interest in our customer’s holistic health and give them advice on better dietary solutions and change of lifestyle. Our clients leave with the satisfaction that both the health supplements and the advice on lifestyle-change are authentic, and will help them.”
Keep These Points in Mind
- Read it again and again. You have to practice your elevator pitch until it sounds natural to you. Take few tips from ‘Five simple promotion tips for copywriters.’
- Make it simple. Avoid complex vocabulary and industry jargon. Remember, even a layman (like a co-passenger in the elevator) should be able to understand your elevator pitch, even if your service or industry is new to them
- Make valid claims that can be proven
- Always finish by listing the benefits
Edit, Edit, and Edit to Perfection
In the insatiable quest for perfection, an artist will never be satisfied with their art. They will want to improve it in all possible ways. Similarly, an article writer will go through several rounds of editing to enhance their content. An elevator pitch is no different. Look at your pitch objectively and improve it with as many edits as it needs.
Nothing Helps Like Practice
Putting your elevator pitch on paper is just the first step. That piece of paper will not help you in real-life situations, so it is essential to memorize your pitch. You should learn it by heart and say it in a natural tone, so it doesn’t sound stiff and rehearsed. The old method of practicing in front of a mirror works well. The more you practice, the more natural you will sound.
Don’t wait for the perfect audience to deliver your lines. Practice it on whoever will listen. Try saying your elevator pitch to several unsuspecting people, and particularly those who will be your target market. Make a mental note of their reactions.
Practice in front of a mirror. Always remember that you have a very limited time to convince your audience. You have around 30 to 50 seconds to persuade them. If you can’t, you will fail to create an impact. Though stating facts and figures is important, orating your elevator pitch with confidence and expertise matters more.
Be Passionate About Your Pitch
Unless you are truly passionate about what you say, it will not be effective. Your elevator pitch should spur conversation, and evoke a reaction. You can achieve this by showing the fiery passion that is infectious.
Create Different Versions of the Elevator Pitch
When you have a basic layout and formula for your elevator pitch, you can always create several versions so you can pick one to suit your audience. After you are done with editing the content and filling in relevant information, you can prepare different versions in advance.
Be Fast and Effective
According to recent studies, the attention span of adults is around 8 seconds. Our natural tendency to check our smartphones for notifications has shown an increase in pace. Add this information to the fact that people form opinions about new people within 7 seconds of meeting them. So, it is very important to make a good impression with your elevator pitch within that short interval of time.
For details of making that first positive impression, please refer to The Art of The Elevator Pitch.
Delivering an effective elevator pitch is an art. There are several guidelines you can follow to compose a strong elevator pitch, but it will never be possible to generate a one-size-fits-all pitch by blindly adopting a formula, and filling in details.
People are interested in why your business exists, rather than just knowing your service and product. If you really want to make an impact in your target market and establish a rapport with your customers, you must make sure your pitch delves deeper. Your ability to relate a convincing story of your product/service and delivering it with utmost confidence is vital for the success of your pitching efforts. If you share the same principles with your audience, and your ultimate goals are the same, then your pitch will resonate no matter how short it is.
Whether you are delivering your elevator pitch to win a customer or woo a potential business partner, there is a lot that goes into crafting that perfect pitch and delivering it effectively. An elevator pitch is more art than science.
Does your elevator pitch always land flat? Have you written an elevator pitch that takes you to new heights? Share your ideas and comments in the box below.