Despite it being a part of the name, an elevator pitch doesn’t have to take place in an elevator. One can happen while mingling at an event, speaking over the telephone, or the moment someone walks through the doors of your business — that’s right, anywhere! If you’re looking to impress, you should be prepared with an elevator pitch of your own. Before we provide you with examples, though, it’s important to understand what an elevator pitch is and the meaning behind its unconventional name.
Define Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is simply defined as “a succinct and persuasive sales pitch” and its name comes from the following scenario: Imagine you’ve just stepped onto an elevator with a very important person whom you’re looking to impress. You have only the amount of time it takes for them to reach their floor to make an impression (so long as you don’t press all of the elevator buttons to buy more time). Anyways, what you’re saying has to be clear, memorable, and pack a punch. First impressions do count and if you’re going to be networking and selling yourself (in this case, your business), it’s vital that you have a good elevator pitch on hand.
An Elevator Pitch as a Business Owner
While elevator pitches can be used in many different scenarios, business owners should develop a pitch that’s business specific and have it in the back of their mind. As a business owner, ask yourself the following: why should potential customers choose your business over another? What do you have to offer that makes you stand out amongst the competition?
Examples of Outstanding Pitches
Here’s a mockup pitch for us:
“Titan Web Marketing Solutions is a digital marketing agency that’s dedicated to making your business known. We can provide you with the things you’ll need to gain clientele such as a website, print materials, a logo, social media management, and more. As a small company, we’re easy to contact and you’ll always communicate with the same people, as opposed to when you work with larger firms. At Titan Web Marketing Solutions, we feel as though we’re doing a good job when your business is successful.”
For a great elevator pitch example in spoken format check out this winner from the University of Dayton’s Business Plan Competition.
Crafting an Elevator Pitch for Your Business
When crafting an elevator pitch, think about the kinds of questions a client would initially ask you and try to answer some of these in the pitch. Keep in mind the following when you begin coming up with a pitch. Good examples of elevator pitches:
Are Conceptually focused and driven. An elevator pitch is not the time to go on and on about your business, although as a business owner you could. Remember, a pitch should be concise and relevant.
Highlight competitive advantage. As mentioned above, address what makes your business better than any of the competition. Even though you have only a short amount of time, it’s important that you highlight at least one thing that’s unique to you.
Stay away from jargon. When it comes to an elevator pitch, people are learning about your business for the first time. Don’t confuse them with a bunch of terms they won’t understand. Not only will this be boring, but it will also dissuade them from having anything to do with your business. No one should walk away from an elevator pitch having to look up the meaning of terms. Keep it clear. If you can’t say it simply, you’re better off not saying it at all (that can come later once you’ve hooked them as a client).
Have evidence of the necessary qualifications. An elevator pitch will be unconvincing if you don’t seem professional or have any evidence to back that you’re a successful business. People will be skeptical to purchase from or partner with a business without its credentials. Work something into your pitch that will show those who are unfamiliar that your business is qualified.
Tips for Delivery:
Know your elevator pitch by heart. An elevator pitch should be memorized, but come naturally as well. You never want to struggle for the right words or sound robotic when delivering a pitch, so be sure to practice it until it flows naturally.
But don’t be afraid to make adjustments. Although this almost counters the suggestion above, realize that it’s okay if your pitch doesn’t come out exactly the same every time it’s delivered. Tweak it for the situation, individual, etc. A few different words here and there are not a huge deal as long as you’ve gotten the main message across in a clear manner.
Show that you’re passionate. It’s never exciting to listen to someone speak when they’re lacking passion about the subject. This is your business, after all, so show you’re excited. Maintaining eye contact and act personable throughout your delivery.
Consider having something to accompany your pitch. While your stand-alone pitch may be plenty effective, it never hurts to have a business card on hand to give out to those whom you’ve delivered it to. This is just another way to ensure that you’ll be remembered. People will know how to contact you should your pitch convert them into a lead.