As most business people and entrepreneurs are aware, your elevator pitch is a necessary tool that gives an important first impression about you and your business. It should quickly grab attention and spark interest in your unique product or service — all in the short span of an elevator ride.
But how exactly do you craft an engaging elevator pitch that boosts sales? What should you include in your in-person networking pitch to make the most of that precious "elevator time" you share with prospects or potential partners?
Elevator Going Up!
That short time (face-to-face in the elevator or elsewhere) and short pitch are becoming ever more important. Besides choosing your words, these days you’re challenged by the fact that, even in an elevator, you don’t always have a person's undivided attention. We all carry multiple “distraction devices” in our pockets and on our wrists — and there may be other physical distractions around, like crowds or entertainment. To rise above the noise and static, an elevator pitch that boosts sales must be:
- and Targeted.
Note that franchisees have big advantages when crafting an elevator pitch that boosts sales. Your franchisor has already established a brand — and may have a pre-developed pitch for you. It's up to you to perfect and deliver that pitch, adding your personality and expertise in your own special way! Learn more tips for franchise marketing in our related blog here.
Getting Started with Your Perfect Pitch
Different prospects and scenarios will require you to customize your pitch, but you can start with just one main pitch as a guideline or template. There are certain 'magic' elements, or elevator pitch essentials, that open doors of opportunity for your business. It's your goal to grab attention even before those elevator doors close. Here are the basic elements of an effective elevator pitch that has potential to gain new customers and boost sales:
4 Key Elements of Your Elevator Pitch
1) Describe Who You Are
This is your branding moment. It must be memorable, accurate and to-the-point. What is your main purpose for existing as a business? Think of your mission and values when crafting this — but make it practical and straightforward.
2) Define What You Do
Being clever is OK — as long as you are very, very clear. You don’t have time for flowery descriptions with lots of adjectives. Talk with energy about your passion for your product or service and define what specific problem you/your business or product can solve.
3) Describe Your Unique Selling Proposition
What makes your solution unique and special? Why should the prospect choose you above others? What makes your product (or service) the best fit for this particular person or business he/she represents?
4) State your goal
Paint a picture of the benefits that will be possible by furthering the conversation and relationship. This is your verbal call-to-action (CTA). Make it specific. It shouldn't sound like a huge time commitment for the prospect. Your CTA should also demonstrate a clear benefit for the prospect.
Your next step may be the most important for your chances of getting a lead or sale:
Continuing the conversation depends on the effectiveness of the pitch and your willingness to learn about your prospect. You'll learn the most and have the greatest opportunity to help when you take the time to listen. If you’ve done well, you’ll get the message and positive feedback quickly. You will also get clues about how best to proceed, based on the prospect's immediate feedback and their level of interest.
The infographic below shows a few more tips and questions to ask yourself when developing that perfect elevator pitch.
Elevator Pitch | Examples on How to Perfect Your Speech | Open Colleges
About Targeted Pitches
The most successful business people don’t rest on their laurels once they’ve crafted the “one perfect pitch.” No, it’s not that simple. Truly effective pitches must be targeted. This doesn’t mean you need to change it on the fly, until you’re very, very good. Always commit your pitch to memory -– and refine it periodically as business evolves and/or your target audience changes. You might have one pitch now and a new and improved version next quarter. Practice your ABCs: Always Be Cutting (editing).
The Right Pitch for the Right Place
Consider creating one perfect pitch for an industry conference setting, where you may be in that elevator with peers and potential partners, mentors and/or investors. You can also craft a separate, unique pitch, for elevator rides/chance meetings with potential clients. Each elevator pitch to boost sales must have the same core brand identity, but tailor it for different audiences you interact with. Create a generic-audience version for unplanned opportunities.
As you're thinking about how to represent your business with that perfect "pitch," learn how a smart business model can give you a competitive edge in our e-book below, "How Chickens Can Transform Your Business."
Image credit: elevator