The boring definition of an elevator pitch is “a short overview of your business, product or service.” However, the term “elevator pitch” came from the idea that if you meet a potential partner, customer or client in an elevator, you better have a pitch that can sell them before they get off on their floor.
• who you are
• what your product or service is
• who your target market is
• what the major benefit is to that target market
And it should do it all in thirty seconds.
If you follow the process I give you here it should be quick and easy. Of course, if you can’t answer any of those four questions, you don’t have a business. You have a hobby.
First, let me give you a couple of examples of some great elevator speeches from a book called, “The Ultimate Marketing Toolkit” by Paula Peters. I highly recommend this book to any small business owner who really wants some great do-it-yourself marketing tools.
“Hi, my name is Jim Sherwin, and I own Tulips’NTomatoes. We design flower and vegetable gardens for people who love to have fresh-cut flowers and fresh vegetables in their homes, but are too busy to care for their gardens. We design the garden, plant the seedlings, and come back once a month to make sure it’s growing properly until harvest.”
So, let’s identify each of the bullet points I mentioned above.
• Who you are: Hi, my name is Jim Sherwin, and I own Tulips’NTomatoes. – short, simple and to the point.
• What your product or service is: We design flower and vegetable gardens – again, no dramatics, no fancy terminology.
• Who your target market is: people who love to have fresh-cut flowers and fresh vegetables in their homes, but are too busy to care for their gardens. – if we’re listening to that elevator speech we immediately know if this is something we’re interested in. He told us exactly who would be interested in his service.
• What the major benefit is to that target market: We design the garden, plant the seedlings, and come back once a month to make sure it’s growing properly until harvest. – I now know I can have the gardens and vegetables I want and I don’t have to lift a finger to get it. If that’s what I want.
Let’s look at another excellent example offered in the same book:
“Hi, my name is Cindy Blair, and I own Blair Mediation Services, LLC. We do legal mediation services for married couples who are actively seeking divorce. Our services give our customers the chance to save money by using a mediator to process their divorce or separation, instead of using an expensive lawyer.”
Again, if this elevator speech was done properly, it should be easy to pick out the four sections:
• Who you are: Hi, my name is Cindy Blair, and I own Blair Mediation Services, LLC. – no doubts here.
• What your product or service is: We do legal mediation services – okay, that’s pretty simple. And she used no jargon, slang, acronyms or industry terms your listener might not understand.
• Who your target market is: married couples who are actively seeking divorce. – Pretty clear who is interested in this service. Don’t get hung up on that “I don’t want to exclude anyone” mistake. Too many business people waste too much time talking to the wrong prospects. I don’t know about you but I’d rather talk to one person who’s definitely interested in my service than a dozen people who really can’t use me but aren’t sure because my pitch is vague.
The other issue with being vague is that you either sound like an MLM person who tries to get you to come to a party without telling you it’s actually a marketing ploy. Or you sound desperate, like you’re willing to talk to anyone that you might be able to sell something to.
• What the major benefit is to that target market: Our services give our customers the chance to save money by using a mediator to process their divorce or separation, instead of using an expensive lawyer. – Now that’s a great appeal.
They didn’t mention that a mediator can keep things from getting ugly, or keep them out of the rigid schedule of the court system, or that a mediator tries to create compromises that everyone can live with. All of that can be brought up later if the person you tell your speech to is interested in knowing more benefits or details of the service.
Don’t create a thirty second sound bite that comes off as a sales pitch.
That’s the quickest way for someone to shut you out. This is simply an introduction. And the simpler you can make it, the easier it is for someone to figure out if they are interested.
Don’t use complex terms or industry jargon.
If you do, there’s a good chance that either they will miss the rest of your elevator speech trying to figure out what the term means, or they will simply decide not to bother and you’ve lost them.
If you have several services or products that you offer…
In that case, you may want to create more than one elevator speech. That way, you can adapt what you say to the crowd you’re in or the person you meet.
I have several elevator pitches I use and it depends on who I’m pitching as to which one I use. If I’m talking to a business owner, I pitch that I can use organic serach engine optimization to get more paying visitors to their website.
If I’m talking to a website designer, I tell them that my website copywriting service can get a client’s website copy done quicker so they can bill sooner.
All you need to do is answer each of those questions at the top of the article as simply as you possibly can, using simple language and no jargon or industry terms, and then string it together into a thirty second speech.
Voila! You’re ready for your next networking event or a sit down with a potential client!
Last point – Your elevator pitch can be the basis of any marketing piece, brochure, website copy or business card.
This post was contributed by Bob McClain of WordsmithBob.com
Bob McClain | Website Content – SEO – Online Marketing | Dominate The ‘Net!
Visit: www.wordsmithbob.com to learn how you can dominate your competition on the Internet!
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