Achieve your Goals with an Elevator Pitch
As a business owner or a person that will be one soon, doubtless you’ve heard of the elevator pitch. This small speech, usually about 60 seconds in length allows you to provide an overview of your business as well as telling others why your business is or will be a success.
But believe it or not, trying to compose this tiny piece of text has caused business owners more headaches than composing an entire business plan. After all, how can you possibly sum up all of the things that make your business great in just a few short sentences?
Problem vs. Solution
The mistake many business owners make is beginning their elevator pitch with their product, which offers a solution to a problem. But if the problem hasn’t been identified, what then does their business solve?
You can avoid making this mistake by first identifying an actual problem that your business addresses, and then leading your elevator pitch with that very problem. And the problem doesn’t have to be complex; look at the person who became tired of their shoelaces fraying at the ends. The solution? Create plastic ends that would make both lacing and tying their shoe less frustrating.
You only need one or two sentences to clearly define the problem. Once you’ve done that, it’s time for the solution. The clearer your problem statement, the more focused your solution will be. Your solution should also be only one or two sentences long.
What Makes You More Credible than Them?
The second part of your elevator pitch should tell your listener or reader why they should choose you over anyone else who is doing what you are. Now’s the time to ask yourself what it is about you and your business that make them interesting to those customers who need it. This part of the pitch will include your track record, competence, team and background.
You must not only ensure that you make your point quickly, but you must also ensure you’ve made the right point. Specifically, you must tell your listener what it is about you that gives you credibility as well as the ability to meet the needs of customers as well as solve their problems.
What you offer is the next section of your pitch. Who is the recipient of your product or service? Here, you may be tempted to concentrate on the features of your business. But what’s important are its benefits. You rarely will need more than two benefits. Any more will only confuse the person you’re pitching to.
So what is the end result for the customer who uses what you’re selling? Will they gain more confidence? Will they be able to get more done in a day? Will they be able to spend more time with their families? All of these can be considered to be benefits.
Closing your elevator pitch effectively is vital if you want to sell the listener on what you have to offer. For a strong finish, you will need to identify what it is you want from the person you are speaking with. Are you trying to get funding, or are you looking for a sale? If you want to sell them something, ask for them to order. This can be done effectively with the offer of a money-back guarantee. For funding, explain your goals outright, whether you’re looking for partners or money from an angel investor.
When closing it may also work to your advantage not to address the person directly, and instead ask if they know anyone who would be interested in becoming a partner or putting up some money.
Although it may seem difficult, constructing your elevator pitch can be easy when you have a clear understanding of what your business offers customers.