Have you ever found yourself chatting with someone and thought, ‘this is the perfect connection, but how do I explain my business to them?’ Odds are just handing them your business card won’t have much of an effect unless you can tell them your story in a concise, memorable, and compelling way. This is where having an elevator pitch practiced and ready to go can make all the difference. In times when virtual and Zoom networking are the current norm, you’ll need something concise and engaging to be memorable! Here’s how to craft the perfect pitch and how to deliver it.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
Essentially, an elevator pitch is a short speech that outlines the idea for a product, service, or project in 20-60 seconds. The idea is that if you encountered your dream connection on an elevator ride, you would be able to present them with a compelling pitch to learn more about your business (and ideally invest in it later) during the time it takes you to get to your stop. It sounds simple, but consider the complexity of your business, from its origin story, to the diverse products or services, and even the financial aspects such as benefits and cost savings. If you met that connection right at this moment, do you think you’d be able to hook them?
When to Use the Pitch
Whether you’re meeting new friends, business networking, or just trying to get your grandma to understand what you do, the elevator pitch can be an essential tool in your professional toolkit. While most people imagine the literal elevator scenario, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will only be presenting this pitch face-to-face. Written versions of your pitch can be displayed online in social networking locations such as your LinkedIn summary or Facebook Business ‘about’ page. If you’re attending professional mixers, career expos, or professional association programs, you’ll be able to present your ideas with an open-minded group of people.
Business Benefits of Your Pitch
For entrepreneurs and employees alike, having an elevator pitch helps you stand out amongst the crowd. Not only will you be able to quickly and accurately convey your idea, but prospects, colleagues, and management will be impressed by your professionalism and speaking capabilities. This is especially important at larger-scale networking events where attendees can quickly turn into wallflowers, missing their chance to make a lasting connection.
What to Say
The hardest part of building the elevator pitch is knowing what to say and what to leave out. What are the most important elements of your business or aspect of your skillset and is it being directed toward the right audience? Start by identifying your goal. Perhaps you want to attract more clients to your business. Maybe you want to help on an internal project. Once you identify what you want to convey, you can focus on explaining what you do and the benefits you offer. Finally, you should communicate what makes you unique.
Practice Makes Perfect
Speaking is a skill, especially in the professional setting which is why simply writing an elevator pitch isn’t enough. You need to practice it out loud so that way when the curtains are up and it’s showtime, you’re ready to present. Practicing will help you memorize the pitch so you don’t fumble around for words and it will also help you take a more natural, confident approach to the situation. Try practicing in a mirror, with a friend, or even via your webcam or cell phone so you can record it, watch and make changes on your own.
Never miss another important connection! Elevator pitches are a great way to establish your business or skills, get in front of the right audience, and make yourself memorable. Every 4BR meeting begins with an introduction of you and your business that really sparks the opportunity to meet others in the group. If you want to learn more business networking skills or practice delivering the perfect pitch, find a local 4BR group near you!