If I asked you to tell me the core of your business in 20 seconds, could you do it? An elevator pitch—super short explanation of your business and services—can be intimidating. There’s pressure to sum up a large amount of information in an interesting and personalized way. It can be your only chance to make that business connection that will pay off later. Sweaty palms and nervous twitches aside, the elevator pitch is critical for rousing interest in you and your business–and it’s something you can master.
“So tell me, what do you do?”
Boom. The timer starts and now’s your chance. You are your best marketing tool. It’s all you, friend. Here are some quick tips to help you nail your elevator pitch every time.
1. Relax and be human. Avoid the robotic, rehearsed look which anxiety can evoke. Breathe deep. Slow down. Look them in the eyes. Smile. Watch out for nervous gestures and phrases. Be yourself.
2. Be all about them, not you. Address customer needs by discussing how you solve problems instead of just the basics of what you offer. What are their pain points? How do you change their lives for the better? Be them-centric, not you-centric. Here’s an example of the difference:
you-centric: My team and I create strategic communications and marketing packages for companies of all sizes. We also deliver web solutions, print collateral and other marketing tools.
them-centric: I believe that every organization has a story to tell. You do. I do. I help individuals and companies find those stories. Together we dig them out and discover creative ways to tell them—and grow businesses as a result.
3. Leave them wanting more. Think of your elevator pitch as an appetizer. It’s an early and critical impression, not a book report. Boil it down to the critical, most essential parts of what you have to offer. Stick to the highlights and leave them hungry for the whole tale.
4. Drop the jargon. Sounds like a no-brainer but it can be easy to forget that prospective clients likely don’t live and breathe your industry. Make sure you aren’t using unfamiliar terms, phrases, or acronyms. Nobody likes to feel stupid.
5. Practice. Rehearsing your spiel on video or with friends may make you feel silly, but it’s smart. The feedback you get can be surprisingly helpful and you’ll grow more natural in your delivery.
6. Give next steps. Don’t end your pitch with a sigh of relief and an awkward smile. Stay confident, swap contact info, give them something to do (visit your website?), and find out the best way to keep in touch.
You’re a rockstar. And you have 20 seconds to share that with someone. Now go!