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Crafting a Killer Elevator Pitch

elevator pitch

Elevator Pitches

If someone asked you to sum up your business in one minute or less, would you be able to do it? Or would you panic and be unable to come up with a single thing to say?

In today’s fast-paced, hyper-competitive economic climate, a quick but informative summary of your business can make the difference between attracting new clients and watching your business stagnate. Traditionally called elevator pitches (since you could conceivably deliver them in the time it takes an elevator to move between floors), these fast pitches are designed to take no more than one minute but still convey all the necessary information about your company.

They should be short, simple and sufficiently captivating. It can be tough to pull off that trifecta, but entrepreneurs should strive to tell their story in a way that piques interest while building credibility.

So before you get caught in that perfect business or investment opportunity with nothing to say, let’s look at a few key components of writing your own elevator pitch:

Ask Yourself a Few Simple Questions
Sit down with a piece of paper and ask yourself a few critical questions. What’s the idea behind your business? How is your company different and better than other companies who do the same thing you do? What’s your long term vision for your business, and how much funding do you need to make that happen? What are the terms of investment? What sort of people comprise your staff and how will they ensure your success?

Adjust Your Pitch to Your Audience
Your elevator pitch needs to serve a lot of functions. If you attend trade shows, you’ll need a pitch for your potential clients and customers in addition to potential investors and partners. Be sure that you tailor your approach for your audience. Customers don’t necessarily need a long speech about your investment terms or cash projections just as investors may not need to hear about every single feature of your product and how to use it. Remember that you need to get your point across in as little time as possible, so make each word count.

Emphasize your Strong Points
You’ll feel a lot more confident making that pitch if you know that you’re telling your audience all about the great things your company is doing instead of perhaps fudging over areas that still need some adaptation or improvement. If your company’s strong point is a great marketing strategy, lead off with that. If your sales have increased 300 percent in the last year, make that your opening statement. Your goal is to build confidence in your business and your product as it is right now.

Write your pitch down and practice it in front of a mirror or another person until you feel comfortable enough to begin to improvise a bit and not recite word for word.

A well-rehearsed but flexible pitch will see you through all those unexpected marketing and investment strategies and may also help you feel more comfortable about promoting your business.

Image: ellyjonez

About author

Chris Birk
Chris Birk 15 posts

Chris Birk is a former newspaper and magazine writer who now works for a pair of Inc. 500 companies, including military home-buying hub VA Mortgage Center.com. He also teaches at a private Midwestern university. Follow him on Twitter.

Funding Note

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  • Hey Chris, you know, it’s interesting sometimes how I compare and contrast the powers of the very-similar-but-different of marketing and selling. I have my elevator speech ready most of them time, being well rehearsed and fine tuned like crazy by now, but apparently people work better by marketing (targeting and personal marketing) more than pitching and selling. I think it’s personal selling and relational selling.

    I’ve closed more deals listen to people and only offering advice when they ask or when appropriate as opposed to a short 60 seconds elevator pitch – maybe because when we build a friendship/relationship with someone it’s easier to sell from the inside?