Everywhere you go, you come in contact with potential customers, connections, and investors. How can you remove the “potential” and turn these individuals into actual customers, connections, and investors? It’s what you say about your business that has the power to attract or deter the people you meet. In this post, we’ll consider three things: The basics of a quick and direct pitch, the importance of being able to expand upon your pitch, and how to do just that.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
An “elevator pitch” is a 30- to 60-second spiel about your business. It’s what you would say if you only had an elevator’s ride worth of time to tell someone about your business. Its purpose is to deliver a powerful explanation of what you do before you lose the full attention of your audience. Yes, speed is important here, but more important is the quality and the impact of the information you are providing in so short a time.
Crafting An Effective Elevator Pitch
Don’t have an elevator pitch yet? Here’s what it must include. (Even if you do have one, you may find that you could improve it based on these core elements.)
1. Identify Your Customers
Right off the bat, you should state who you work with or provide services for. What’s the danger in not doing this? If you go right into your offerings, people could become confused or be left with lingering questions.
Identify the “who” first. The “what” and “how” will make more sense as you go on to explain.
2. Mention Problems and Pain Points
After step one, dive straight into the problems, challenges, and pain points of your target audience. This will accomplish a couple of things.
For one, it sparks emotion. This is the case whether your audience can relate personally or realizes the impact of the issues you point out. Second, as a result, it makes people more willing to listen to you and eager to hear about your solutions.
3. Explain Your Solutions in Terms of Benefits
Just as you can stir up emotion by talking about common problems, you can also make your listeners feel relief. This is done with an enticing description of your solutions. How do you help people overcome the problems and meet the challenges you touched on?
Remember to speak in terms of the advantages and benefits your customers value most. This might seem obvious. Yet, it’s easy to forget that what you consider a major plus may not be as important to prospects. So think about what you offer from their perspective, pick the most notable advantages you provide, and explain them clearly.
Expanding Your Pitch
Now that you have the formula for a strong elevator pitch, you need to know how to elaborate on it. This is important because let’s face it…it’s tough to give a clear picture of what you do in just a minute. When you have the chance to say more, you should be ready, especially if someone is interested in hearing more.
Also, the chance of a relationship is much higher if you can carry on your pitch seamlessly, providing additional information that will move the listener to action—even if that action is simply to learn more.
Check out four ways you can engage the person you’re talking to, while still rounding out their understanding of your company.
1. Make Use of Analogies
Analogies can be helpful if you’re in a technical profession or are speaking to someone unfamiliar with your industry. Drawing comparisons to things that can be more readily understood will enhance the clarity of your words.
2. Speak Their Language
Don’t leave people scratching their heads after listening to you! This creates missed opportunities to reel in potential customers, connections, partners, or investors. That’s the exact opposite of what a pitch is designed to do! Be conscious of what you say, making sure that you’re understood. Avoid jargon and complicated language. Your words will have the greatest impact if they’re simple and to the point.
2. Tell Your Story
As mentioned previously, playing on emotions can be a powerful way to “hook” listeners. Use your story to your advantage. You could touch on how your company got its start, what events shaped your mission and values, the people behind your brand, and so on.
Taking this more personal approach, rather than only giving the facts, can positively shape the way people view you. The more they like and relate to you, the more opportunities you create for yourself.
3. Personalize Your Approach
Make no mistake about it, memorizing a canned speech is not the same as outlining what you’ll say. Your goal is not simply to recite a script; it’s to connect on a human level. To do this, include the person you’re talking to in what you’re talking about.
If you make an observation or learn something during the course of the conversation, relate it back to your business if you can. Of course, you shouldn’t overdo it by being aggressive or getting too personal. But do try to customize your spiel as much as possible.
4. Allow Time For Questions
Allowing others to ask specific questions is also a great way to personalize. If you know what your listeners are interested in or don’t quite understand, you know which direction to go. Plus, you can ensure that they have a clear understanding, which, again, promotes action.
Pulling Off a Persuasive Pitch
As you can see, half the battle is in preparation. Once you have an idea of the points you need to cover, all that’s left is to deliver. As long as you’re friendly, open, straightforward, and not self-centered, you should have little to worry about. In fact, you’ll be elated as you begin to see positive results!