If someone asked you about your business or what you do for a living, would you know what to say to them? Or would you need time to collect your thoughts? If you are unsure of how to answer this question, then I suggest that you create an elevator pitch as soon as you can (perhaps right after you finishing reading this blog post). An elevator pitch is essentially a brief speech about what you or your company does, which can be shared in less than a minute – as long as an elevator ride.

Chances are, you’re going to run into someone of importance at one time or another, whether it be a potential client or an investor, and you’re going to want to be prepared. An elevator pitch is crucial in these instances as you will have less than 30 seconds to make an impression, and you need to make it count! The average attention span is 8 seconds, so if you are unable to hook someone within a couple seconds, you could lose out on a great opportunity.

These tips will help you craft an elevator pitch that will make an impactful and meaningful impression the next time you meet someone new.

BEGIN WITH AN ATTENTION GRABBER

The beginning of your elevator pitch is a crucial part, as this is your one and only chance to capture the attention of your listener. Create an attention grabber that will encourage your listener to be more willing to engage and listen to what you have to say next. An attention grabber can include a question, brief story, or a statement with an unexpected ending, something that will flow naturally into your next point. “Isn’t it crazy that the average company spends 10+ hours a week on social media?” Keep in mind that you should NOT begin your elevator pitch talking about what you or your company does. Instead, give people a reason to remember you first, then you can continue telling them about what you do.

MAKE THEM AWARE OF A PROBLEM

After capturing their attention, you need to make them aware of a problem. This can be accomplished with a follow-up question. For example: “Are you tired of spending countless hours working on social media?”. Most likely they will answer “yes” to this question. This one question perfectly sums up the problem you or your company is trying to help people solve.

SHARE YOUR SOLUTION

Now that your listener is completely engaged, this is your chance to share what you or your company does. “My company is called XYZ and we help businesses manage their social media accounts. Our assistants will manage your social media so you can spend more time doing what you love.” In just two simple sentences you are able to perfectly sum up what your company does.

TELL THEM WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE

What makes your company different from all of the other companies who may be selling the same product or service as you? If your listener is interested in your business, they’ll want to know what makes you stand out from everyone else in the market. Mention key features that make you or your company unique. “We have the capability to schedule over 25,000 social media messages each month for our clients.”

CLOSE WITH A CALL TO ACTION

If you feel that the pitch went well, see if your prospect would be interested in meeting with you later on to learn more. “I would love to have a conversation later as to how we can help you personally manage your social media. When would you be able to meet?”. If it didn’t go so well, you could simply ask them, “What would your thoughts be about learning more about how we can help you with your social media?”. Your close certainly doesn’t need to be anything complicated, just a simple call to action is all you need.

Now that you know how to craft a powerful elevator speech, you will never be caught off-guard again!

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