Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch
Posted by Michelle Cowley-Cunningham on 1st March 2019
An effective elevator pitch can often be the only difference between you and your competition. If you’re up to your eyes in trade shows, conferences, or business lunches, be sure to have a tried and trusted pitch at the ready.
Why? Because making a memorable impression may open up opportunities to pitch in the best places, start relationships with key contacts, and build up your team by reputation alone. Indeed, one of the best benefits of a good elevator pitch is that it has the potential to enhance the things you love about yourself, and suppress the things you hate. It can keep you strategically invisible, or garner the support of powerful industry actors.
So, what’s the formula for crafting a perfect pitch, and how will it propel your success to the next level?
1. Be Prepared
First things first. Prepare your pitch with key and tailored versions. Your pitch must serve all masters and satisfy all thirsts. For example, prepare several pitch lengths that succinctly promote your message uniformly. Embellish where there is ample time, refine it to its core for speedy meet and greets. Varying its length and content will help you fill gaps in conversational interactions, and avoid embarrassing silences.
Remember, different contexts may present different time intervals and may require nuanced additions or deletions. In some ways pitches can be tricky because you need more than one of them. That said, to start with you could use the 30-second pitch method for all and every situation, until you have more to add. For such a pitch, you should aim to speak at least three words per second, and keep it to 90 words to tell someone about you, your company, and your aspiration.
2. Grab Attention
It may sound pretty basic, but you’ll need an attention-seeking opener. Aim to puncture the mundane and draw your listener in. A golden nugget of information such as a new or unique product line your working to adopt, or a well-researched question for a targeted listener to enable you to interject your pitch later, will suffice. All things considered, a one-sentence pitch, a sound bite, or a top fact will be a great start.
3. Tell A Story
Many SMEs find their products too technical or their businesses profitable yet too run of the mill, to grab the sort of attention they require. Remember, there is a considerable probability of being completely unknown to 99% of your target audience. So, tell a story, and sell the story.
How? Emphasise what is unique and different about your product, service, and company to begin with. If your company is different it will gain more deserved or industry-focused attention. Differentiating yourself from the competition with unique-selling points will help you gain opportunities to deliver your elevator pitch. Just think; invited trade show speaking slots, Chamber of Commerce Expo submissions, sponsoring and applying for industry awards! The choices are infinite, once you have perfected your business story.
Forget jargon. Keep your pitch simple and to the point. Ask yourself would an average person with no knowledge of your industry understand it, and what questions would they likely ask if they didn’t?
For example, poignant statistics or analogies are great ways to communicate your success, range and business growth aspirations. How do you rank with others within your industry, sector, or region? Experienced investors are often looking for this kind of information in business plans, media excerpts, and trade magazines to benchmark you against other industry players. So, get out there. Use your pitch to guide advertorials, offer introductions by way of testimonials for your B2B contracts. Be brave. Use your pitch as your personal calling card to generate the brand awareness you deserve.
5. Welcome Questions
Be sure you’ve well-prepared answers to anticipated questions. In this you must excel and respond with upmost confidence. You are most likely to gather questions if you deliver a successful pitch. You would be forgiven in thinking that the easy part is gaining your target audience’s attention, and the difficult part now is to have the answers, data, or research to back up your unique claim. So, be sure to prepare answers addressing how you are accomplishing your endeavour, how you can assure people that you can maintain this success for the future, and importantly, are you really better than ‘XYZ’ competitor, and can you prove it emphatically?
6. Practice Your Pitch
Well, we all know that practice makes perfect. Remember, your elevator pitch could one day have the potential to become a multi-million dollar sentence or two. Maybe even a multi-billion dollar string of words! It’s definitely worth practicing. Start thinking like an athlete, and rehearse each detail. Have all notable facts on the tip of your tongue. Don’t stall on delivering your pitch for approaching investors. Put in some work, practice, get feedback and hone it. It will be worth it.
And there you have it. Your pitch is what rolls you. Help it identify your next steps and get you there.
If you are ready to pitch your next steps and seek business finance, then Linked Finance can provide fast, affordable business loans to support recruitment or any other expansion plans you might have. Apply now.