Designing A Compelling Elevator Pitch

woman at networking event

In the time it takes to ride an elevator, what would you tell someone about your business? 

Have you ever been unprepared with a response when someone has asked you what you do? Perhaps you blurted out a long, rambling answer and missed your opportunity to start a meaningful conversation. and promote yourself or your business. 

We have all attended a function or a meeting, where we know we are going to be introduced to new people. So how do we introduce ourselves quickly, clearly, and distinctly without losing the interest of our audience? A good pitch takes planning and practice, to deliver it quickly, on the spot, and under pressure.

The elevator speech is absolutely no longer than 30-60 seconds.

5 elements to a compelling intro

  1. Who is the target market? Know your target market and speak directly to them. “You know how [target market] are always overwhelmed with, or are always struggling with…”
  2. What is a problem you can solve? What is their pain? What would they most prefer not to do themselves?
  3. How can you solve the problem, or ease their pain?  What can you do for them, your target market that would benefit them? How would you add value to your target market?
  4. The WOW factor – what makes you unique? These are unique benefits that you and/or your company bring to the business that is different or better than others in the same industry.
  5. Results and benefits. What results are you going to deliver? Every single word that you say must pass the “so what” factor. What’s in it for me?

What to say in your elevator pitch

Start and end with your company name: People may not catch your name at the beginning, and often it is only when they hear about what you do, or what referrals you’re looking for, that they are prompted to write your name down. Reminding them at the end helps them to remember who you are and to be able to get in touch with you.

Open with a statement that grabs attention: a hook that prompts your listener to ask questions; tell them who you are: what your role is.

Talk about what you do, what you offer, the problems you solve. Keep it brief and focused.

Talk about the benefits of hiring or buying from you. Tell what very special services, or solutions you can offer, and what are the advantages of working with you or your organization.

How do you do it: give a concrete example or tell a short story, show your uniqueness, emotional appeals, real impact stories.

Don’t say “I” more than “you”. This is all about your target market, and what you are going to do for them.

Don’t use industry jargon; they may not understand it, and you definitely don’t want them to feel inferior. Bring yourself to the audience level and use the words they need to hear.

Don’t talk about your education, certifications, awards, or years of experience. This is an introduction not a resume.

End with a call to action. Ask for the business, or the contact. The audience needs to be told what to do, and how to do it.

And of course, if you have a tag line, now is the time to use it. Leave your audience with an impression, and something to remember you by.

A potential client needs to hear your message at least 9 times in order to influence their buying decision. It needs to be the same message. You can refine the message, but don’t change it. It must be clear and understandable. Avoid jargon. And it must be memorable. Prepare and practice!

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