Elevator Pitch

Do you have an engaging ‘elevator pitch’?
A. We have no ‘elevator pitch’
B. Our ‘elevator pitch’ possibly works against us. (It’s … incoherent, confusing, off-putting …).
C. We have a written ‘elevator pitch’ for our business, but staff seem to vary in how they deliver it.
D. We have a brief ‘elevator pitch’ that most staff deliver pretty well.
E. We have an engaging one minute ‘elevator pitch’, that states who we are, what we do, who it is for, what problem it solves, and how effective it is – and every member of staff can deliver it fluently by heart.
[A=0, B=1, C=2, D=3 & E=5]
A
Why is this question important?

“You have one minute to explain yourself, your business, your goals and your passions. Your audience knows none of these. Are you prepared? Can you present your vision smoothly, enticing them to want more?”
Harvard Business School

Here at StrategyPal, our elevator pitch:

“StrategyPal is a comprehensive strategic mentoring system.   It combines the best of traditional face-to-face mentoring with a powerful on-line system to help business mentors give greater value to their clients.

How?  By placing strategic planning and especially implementation at the heart of business development.

Strategy creation is about doing the right things; strategy implementation is about doing things right.   StrategyPal ensures that the right things are done right.   This powerful system helps every employee to think, act and work strategically every single day – always driving the business toward success.”

It is critical that you and your colleagues learn how to speak to others about your business, more especially if involved in sales and marketing. Summing up the unique features of your business in an exciting manner is fundamental in the development of your elevator pitch. Yet many businesspeople pay little or no attention to the continuous development of the elevator pitch.

This is unfortunate because the elevator pitch (the time it takes to ride up the elevator – hence the name) is far too important to take casually. This quick, succinct summation of what your company makes or does is one of the most effective methods available to reach new buyers and clients.

What makes a good Elevator Pitch?

  • Keep it fresh.
    As your business grows, your pitch needs to grow and change with it. As your audience needs and expectations change, make sure you change the way you speak about your business. Your language, your approach, and what you choose to highlight for a particular audience has got to change over time.
  • Always be prepared.
    Adjust the pitch to the person who is listening, and refine it as you and your business continue to grow and change. Continually perfecting the elevator pitch ensures that you are always able to put your best foot forward as your business grows and changes and your client base expands.

Building an Elevator Pitch

Elevator pitches have four success factors: the hook, the purpose, the what and where, and the delivery.

  • First, find a hook – something distinctive about what you’re selling that people would remember and take notice of. Using analogies can be helpful as it helps people quickly understand your firm. A good pitch should aim to get the audience to ask question or take some sort of “next step.”
  • Next, focus on the purpose your product or service serves for the customer. It’s advisable not to talk about skills (“strategy consulting”); talk about how you can make customers satisfied (“help business mentors give greater value to their clients”).
  • Third, inform the listener of the business’s situation: where the business is at, what the business is looking for, why you are unique and describe your goal.
  • Once your elevator pitch has been written, you and your colleagues need to aim for perfection in delivery. It is important that the pitch does not sound memorized, it needs to sound like normal conversation about a topic that excites you. Let your listener hear the commitment in your voice and your words. Let them see your involvement via direct eye contact and confident body language. If you want to positively influence someone, you have to show them you actually care.

Keep it short. Under the best of circumstances, people have limited attention spans. In the wise words of Winston Churchill, “Be clear. Be brief.”

To recap, it should describe:

  • who you are – what would you most want the listener to remember about you?
  • what you do – this should allow the listener to understand how you or your company would add value
  • who it is for
  • what problem it solves – show what you do that is different or better than others
  • how effective it is

http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/careers/pitch/