Table of Contents
Summary of your business: understanding the meaning of “Elevator Pitch”
Historically known as the “elevator” pitch, which is basically a 60-90 second summary of your business or project. The initial rationale for the description “elevator” is if you had to pitch your project in the elevator to a fellow passenger (usually a decision-maker in your organization, or a potential investor) before they get out on their floor.
In my own experience, a more likely environment is at cocktail parties or during coffee breaks during conferences, etc. – but the principle is still the same.
If you cannot describe your project in 60 seconds, your strategy is not clear enough.
This elevator pitch is important – simplicity and focus is to be admired. If you cannot do this, then I suggest you have a potential problem.
Divide it into four sections
- Personalize the discussion
- “Why you?”
- What you offer
- Close well
1. Personalize the Discussion
Define the problem by starting the with a story or example. Make it personal and pertinent to your audience, not academic.
2. “Why You?”
What is so special about you that makes your offering or solution interesting to the target person? Mention your background and pertinent experience, your management team, etc.
Focus on core competence and differentiation – remember you have to get your message across fast – make your point quickly and move on.
This is not about you – it is about your ability to add credibility that is able to meet the need and solve the problem.
3. What do you have to Offer?
Now explain what that potential buyer (or investor) gets, or the organization.
So far you have personalized the the need or want, identified your unique qualities to solve the problem – now you have to put the need or want in concrete terms that are easy to see.
Forget features as much as possible – emphasize and illustrate benefits.
You have already described the person or organization with the situation or problem, and built up your ability to solve it – now it is all about the solution.
Stay focused and concentrate.
People will remember, at most, one or maybe two unique attributes of your business offering.
Don’t confuse them with more.
4. Close Well
Ask for what you need.
The close depends upon who you are, and what you want.
So far, you have:
- Personalized the problem
- Sold yourself and/or your organization
- Established the attractiveness/suitability of your solution to the problem
Now it is time to finish concisely with strength.
The closing depends on context – what do you want from the people that you are talking to? For example, describing your business to a news reporter is very different to a high net worth potential investor.
There is no need to try and convey too much information.
Do establish, in general terms, where you are, and what do you want. For example:
“we are looking for seed capital of $100,000”
“we are looking at international distributors”
“we want a firm relationship with a reliable manufactiruer”
Ask for, and give, a business card, and ask “if you know anyone who would be suitable, please let me know”. Sometimes it is easier to that way, rather than ask the individual directly.
Don’t talk terms – define what you want or need.
Stay general – make them want more!
A great example of this is the cold call scene from the Wolf of Wall Street. Leonardo di Caprio really nails it! He uses the four-step approach incredibly well, watch below;