An elevator pitch is a brief, compelling speech used to introduce yourself, your product, or your organisation to others. Its goal is to swiftly and effectively convey the notion in order to pique people's interest in who you are and what you do. Short enough to get your point through anytime and anywhere—even during a fast elevator ride—an elevator pitch should be no more than 30-seconds long. For instance, your name.
At the airport, you've just run across an old customer. He asks you what your new firm does after exchanging pleasantries. You pause after opening your mouth. Where do you even begin?
Then his flight is called, and he's on his way, as you struggle to arrange your thoughts. You're confident he would have stayed long enough to schedule a meeting if you had been better prepared.
This is one scenario where having an "elevator pitch" comes in handy. This is a short, prepared speech that clearly and succinctly explains what your organisation does.
As you approach someone to pitch to at an event, interview or anything in between, start off with an introduction. Start your pitch by giving your full name, smile, extend your hand for a handshake and add a pleasantry like, “It’s nice to meet you!”
Keep in mind not to ramble. According to Diana Tamir, a researcher, "This helps to explain why people participate in this behaviour so compulsively. It's because it gives them some type of subjective value: it makes them feel good."
In an elevator pitch, the difficulty with this is that you haven't yet earned the prospect's interest or attention. They don't care who you are, how long you've been with the firm, or what jobs you've held previously. Keep your personal information to a bare minimum until you earn the right to disclose more later in the transaction.
Summarization of your job
Have a thorough grasp of your company's operations. What are the company's product or service's mission and goals? In your pitch, include a part where you introduce the firm. The more you understand about the industry, the easier it will be to tailor your pitch to the individual you're speaking with.
As an example, "I work as a sales representative for Better Than the Rest Cable. We assist hotels around the United States in finding the best cable provider for their location and needs."
This is a succinct description of what the company does — without getting into the weeds. If you were to be cut off after these two sentences, the prospect would still know exactly who you are and what your company does.
Recognize the values for both side
What does your business do particularly well that distinguishes its product or service from the competition? Make a one- or two-sentence statement on the value that the product or service delivers to current customers.
Now that you've introduced yourself and your business, it's time to get down to business. Let's have a peek at what that looks like:
"I work as a sales representative for Lee and Muthu Cable. We assist hotels around Selangor and Kuala Lumpur in finding the best cable provider for their location and needs. We assist hotels in determining the most cost-effective and guest-pleasing cable package for them by assigning area specialists to each account."
You've informed the prospect what sets us unique and how you can add value to their life in one line.
Grab their attention
An intriguing tale about a client or the firm founders can pique your audience's interest. Alternatively, provide an interesting fact or statistic about the product. An attention-getting hook keeps your audience interested in what you're saying. Let's wrap up our pitch with a stat that will catch your attention.
"I work as a sales representative for Lee and Muthu Cable. We assist hotels around Selangor and Kuala Lumpur in finding the best cable provider for their location and needs. We assist hotels in determining the most cost-effective and guest-pleasing cable package for them by assigning area specialists to each account. On average, we can save hotels up to 25% on their yearly cable fees ""Invoices."
Add on Call To Action (CTA)
You should ask for or state what you want to happen next at the end of your elevator pitch. Start with the objective of acquiring fresh information or identifying next actions if you believe an elevator pitch is suitable for a certain circumstance. Requesting for a meeting, showing interest in a job, verifying you've answered an interview question completely, or asking someone to be your mentor are all examples.
Asking for what you want might be frightening, but it's critical that you give the conversation a purpose rather than allowing it to stall. Remember, you've just just met this individual, so keep it easy and request little of them. Here's a sample of the pitch we've been working on:
“Hi, my name is Innara. It’s so nice to meet you! I’m a PR manager, specializing in overseeing successful initiative launches from beginning to end. Along with my 7 years of professional experience, I recently received my MBA with a focus on consumer trust and retention. I find the work your PR team does to be innovating and refreshing—I’d love the opportunity to put my expertise to work for your company. Would you mind if I set up a quick call next week for us to talk about any upcoming opportunities on your team?”
Thank them for their time and acquire their contact information if they agree to your request. “Thank you for your time, I'll send you a follow-up email tonight,” say at the end of the call. “Have a fantastic day!” If they refuse to comply with your request, politely conclude the conversation with, "I understand, thank you for your time!" If everything is in order, “I'll send you a follow-up email and see if there’s a better time for us to connect.”
MUST AVOID MISTAKES IN ELEVATOR PITCH
- Robot talk
If you seem overly scripted, the interaction will appear forced, so try to give your elevator pitch in a conversational tone. It may be beneficial to compose your pitch in shortened bullet points. When you practise presenting it, you'll learn to recall concepts rather than memorise a script, which will help your presentation sound more natural. It’s okay if your personal preference is to memorize your pitch—if this is the case, then try to practice it until it feels natural to say it aloud.
- Use one pitch in all occasion
It's possible that you won't need to tailor your elevator pitch for every audience. Although having a broad pitch that you can use at any time is a good idea, you should attempt to customise your pitch whenever possible. If you're approaching a start-up company's booth at a career fair, for example, you might explain why you're so enthusiastic about them in your pitch. The more customised your thoughts are, the more likely you are to have a favourable discussion outcome. It demonstrates your keen attention and regard for the listener's time.
- Talk too fast and in a rush.
The listener may overlook vital information if you talk too rapidly. Give your elevator pitch at a slower, more deliberate pace to give them time to consider what you're saying. It might be a natural propensity to speak fast, or it could happen when you're frightened. Regardless, make a conscious effort to slow down and practise your pitch with this technique in mind.
In conclusion, developing an elevator pitch one step at a time makes it simple to create a speech that can be used in any professional situation. Elevator pitches can be helpful as you take them into your next networking event or interview. Your elevator pitch could be the beginning of a new opportunity, so draft, review, refine and deliver with confidence.