A few weeks ago I reached out to a few people in my trusted network to get their input when researching for this topic. My very clever friends all came back saying the ‘elevator pitch’ was dead, but the went on to tell me exactly how they’d craft one and came up with some cool new name to describe their version.
Now my colleagues are super smart, so I reverse tested the names other colleagues came up with (they were all different). Unanimously, they all thought other people’s names were ‘dumb’ which lead me to believe that whether we like it or not, the ‘elevator pitch’ concept is alive and well because everyone knew exactly what I meant.
I’ve been using my current Elevator Pitch for some time now and it follows the same basic rules my mentor taught me over 25 years ago. So I know these 3 simple steps will help the entrepreneur in you, quickly and easily pitch your business even if you’re not in an elevator.
First some ground rules.
Your ‘pitch’ should be crafted to last 15-30 seconds. That may sound short, but the second ground rule is less is more and 30 seconds is actually plenty of time. I do mine in 15 seconds. Take more than that and you’ll risk moving into snooze territory or worse, the person you’re speaking to feels like they are being ‘pitched’ at and will tune out.
Speak slowly and clearly, don’t rush – you’ll come across as confident. If you’re rushing to get it all in, time to edit. Less is definitely more!
An elevator pitch is not a sales pitch – you don’t have time to ‘sell’ in 30 seconds and no one likes to be sold ‘to’ anyway, they’ll switch off before you get close to finishing (that’s a whole other conversation and skill set).
The final ground rule is: you have to be confident and genuine. I’ve had people craft their pitch and then hit me with it and I can tell even they don’t believe what they are saying. One of my favourite TV personalities and YouTubers is Jason Silva – watch this awesome video from him to learn why we are so attracted to confident people. Bottom line is, as an entrepreneur you have to back yourself, otherwise, people will smell you’re a fraud a mile away and a fraudulent pitch just…sucks. So be real.
So here are my 3 easy steps to follow to craft an awesome pitch.
- Clearly identify the problem you solve
This is the most basic mistake people make when pitching. Every business simply solves someone else’s problem. Nail this in few seconds and you’ll be ahead of the curve. Add a bit of ‘pain’ for added engagement (pain points being solved are very attractive)
- Who you solve problems for
This is all about being clear on your Target Market. You may think about your product or service is for ‘everyone’, but smart business owners know that being laser specific will actually generate them more money. Check out my website for tools and resources to help with this and one of my favourite online ‘webpreteneurs’, Amy Porterfield, has this awesome podcast on the subject too.
- How do you solve that problem
How do you deliver your product or service? Explaining this simply helps contextualise your offering and gives the listener reason to start paying attention – if they relate to your offering, they’ll connect faster. Do you deliver your offering via:
- At an office
- One to One
- One to Many
Follow this by a ‘how’ you do this. No need to be tricky here, just to the point:
Last but not least, practice makes perfect, so write it down, say it out loud and practice on your friends and family because when you least expect it, you’ll be needing to pull it out of the bag and with these pointers, you’ll be pitch perfect.