What is an elevator pitch and why your business needs one

Explain yourself

Whether you’re planning on attending a networking event or preparing for a meeting with potential investors, learning what is an elevator pitch is a great way to get closer to your goals. It’s commonly used in a variety of business settings and can be summarized as an executive summary of your business that explains what your company does and how it delivers on its promise.

If you’ve ever been asked, “What is it that you do?” and couldn’t come up with a short and concise answer, you need to work on your elevator pitch. In this article, we’ll explain what is an elevator pitch, why you need one, and offer a few tips to help you perfect it.

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch should provide a short overview of your business, products or services, and how those services and products solve a particular problem that your ideal customer is facing. It’s a short statement that can be delivered in the time it takes to complete an elevator ride from the top to ground floors, hence the name.

Why do you need an elevator pitch?

According to business expert Chris O’Leary, an elevator pitch is meant to generate interest about your business and leave your audience wanting to know more. When you take the time to perfect your elevator pitch and use it in the right setting, it can be the most powerful tool in your networking toolbox.

Let’s look closer at that.

It can be used as a tagline

Once you dial in on how to write an elevator pitch, it can become your company’s tagline or a slogan you can add to the homepage of your website. This makes it obvious for anyone who visits what your business does and how you can solve their problems. They can immediately decide whether or not you’re the company they are looking for, and then check out the rest of the pages on your website that leads them toward working with you.

Use it during networking events

If you attend networking events for your industry, an elevator pitch breaks the ice and serves as a great conversation starter that naturally leads into sharing more information about your company.

Helps you generate new leads

Directly tied to the point above, event attendees who heard your elevator pitch can turn from strangers into potential leads — especially if you follow up with them after the event.

Use it on printed material

Once you master your elevator pitch, you can also use it on business cards as well as brochures, official letterhead, and any other printed material you use as official correspondence to promote your business.

Helps you make a great first impression

It’s not uncommon for business owners to struggle with explaining what it is they do, which can lead to others perceiving them as unprofessional.

A well-rehearsed elevator pitch helps you make a great first impression.

 

You’ll be able to tell people what you’re all about — what your business stands for as a company, who you serve, how you deliver results, and what makes you better than the competition.

Overcomes short attention spans

According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds since 2000. In a world dominated by information overload, an elevator pitch can make all the difference between getting your message out there or not at all.

Now that we’ve covered what is an elevator pitch and why your business needs one, let’s briefly discuss how to create a strong elevator pitch that will get you noticed.

How to create a strong elevator pitch

How To Write An Elevator Pitch

Beyond learning what is an elevator pitch, a strong one should be easy to remember and easy to digest. A simple formula for creating an elevator pitch is starting with a question that identifies a common problem your target audience has. That leads into what you do and how you solve that problem and finishes up with a call-to-action that can be as simple as handing the prospect a business card and asking them to call you.

Here are a few tips to help you figure out what is an elevator pitch for your business.

Get clear on who you are and what you do

Write a one- to two-sentence description of who you are and what you do on a daily basis in your business. You can use your mission statement or your products and your services to guide you in coming up with a description.

Know your target audience (aka your ideal client)

Come up with a short description of who your ideal client is, what problems they face, and what they care about the most in both their personal and professional lives.

Define your unique selling point

Know and understand what makes you different from anyone else who might be offering the same product and service. This will make you stand out as well as make you an obvious choice.

Develop a call-to-attention

Next, you’ll want to write an attention-grabbing hook that will pull in anyone you network with and pique interest in your business.

Tie it all together

Once you have all those statements written down, it’s time to combine them, making sure you lead with the hook. If you’re going to use it on printed material or on your website, be sure to proofread your elevator pitch several times to remove any typos and grammar mistakes and trim away unnecessary details. Try to keep your elevator pitch between 150 to 200 words so you can deliver it at an event within a minute or two without rushing through it.

Wrapping up

An elevator pitch can help you introduce yourself at networking events, as well as help you gain more clarity in your own business. Make sure to practice it before events so it flows naturally and helps you generate new leads for your business. Happy networking!


Also published on Medium.