According to Buisnessweek.com article, The Perfect (Elevator) Pitch, “One of the most important things a businessperson can do is learn how to speak about their business to others.”
That is where the elevator pitch comes in.
An elevator pitch is a brief explanation about your business, lasting no more than a minute (the pitch should last no longer than an “elevator” ride).
Even though you will probably never have to give your pitch in an actual elevator, the point is that you want to be able to catch your listener’s attention, quickly.
Some sources, like socialtimes.com and statisticbrain.com place the average adult’s attention span at around 8 seconds.
So in the time it took you to read that last sentence, you would have already lost your listeners attention.
That is why grabbing an individual’s attention with a quick and interesting elevator pitch, (if done right) gives you leverage by leaving the person wanting more information.
So how, exactly, is the elevator pitch done right?
How do you peak your audience’s curiosity?
Well first, you want to make sure what you are saying is, in fact interesting.
If you present a person with dull information, no matter how fast you say it, it will still be dull. Overloading them with details has the potential to confuse them.
But relaying to others what your company “does” in a fascinating way is not always easy, especially when you only have a minute to do it.
Overall people just want to know, “what is in it for me”. In that one minute window of opportunity you have the short moment to get into their head, capture their attention, and plant the seed.
If you are a recruiter and you are speaking to someone you want to help get a job, tell them that.“I work at a staffing firm and I will work hard to match you with the right job or, I will devotedly help and offer my guidance to you at every step of the process”.
Of course, you do not want to sell people a product you cannot provide, but if you are honest and know what you are selling and why they might “want it” your elevator pitch can become an invaluable tool.
Once people know what is it for them you will almost always capture their attention. In order to be successful in marketing to the person, you want to know where you pitch is going.
What are exactly are you trying to convey to your audience?
Put all your thoughts down on paper and then organize it into one clear thought.
Tell the person clearly what you do.
For example if you are a recruiter, you might explain to them that “you give clients advice and guidance to help lead them into the career of their dreams.”
Remember, it is okay to sell yourself in a pitch; in fact that what you want to be doing. You want people to walk away from your conversation with a better grasp of what you or your company does.
Keep it simple “but fresh,” says BusinessWeek, “every business grows and changes, and your pitch needs to grow and change with it.”
If you are still using your business pitch from 20 years ago, chances are the pitch is stale and is missing the mark when it comes to explaining the brand.
Create different pitches that you feel comfortable using at different times. With that being said, you do not script these pitches.
If you do you risk the chance of sounding like a robot. Knowing the main perception you want to deliver in your pitch and altering it to the person you are talking too, will sound organized and personal.
Conveying your pitch mechanically on the other hand, can sound confusing and rehearsed.
If you were looking to hire someone for your business would you prefer to hire someone who has a strong understanding of their skills and can convey those skills confidently and efficiently, or rather hire the candidate who gives you a long explanation of themselves with constant “ums” and “likes”?
Most would choose the first person.
Practice your pitch with your friends, family, and co-workers. They can give you feedback on what makes sense, and what does not. It can also help you learn how to adjust your pitch to different people.
If you follow some of these tips you can successfully complete the dreaded elevator pitch.
Remember, there is always room for improvement. If you are not happy with your first elevator pitch rework it, practice it, and go out again until you nail it.