A number of my TAB members attend networking events, which can often be daunting affairs. Everything is fine until it comes to your turn to stand up and give your elevator pitch, your 30 or 60 second commercial.
Your mind goes blank; you can’t even remember who you are and what your company does. How you wish you had written down your speech the night before when you thought “no need, I can wing it”.
How many of you have failed to plan even this little insight into your business?
So what should your elevator pitch look like?
Elevator speeches were intended to prepare you for every eventuality, even a chance encounter in an elevator (as our colleagues across the Pond would call it!). Elevator speeches are now used at practically every networking event you will attend. They also come in handy whenever you want to introduce yourself to a new contact, and that could be anywhere. In the supermarket, waiting in line at the bank or when you get your morning coffee.
No one should be better than you at selling your business in 60 seconds?
No one knows your business better than you, no one should be more passionate about what you do than you and no one should know the benefits of working with you better than you.
There are 4 main things to remember when preparing your elevator pitch and they are:
– Who is your target audience?
– What is the biggest frustration they are likely to be facing in their business?
– How are you different from others?
– What reason is there to engage you and your business?
For you to make people want to engage with you after just 60 seconds you have got to answer their most pressing question “What’s in it for me?” If they can’t see or hear a potential benefit for themselves, if you haven’t struck a chord with them, they are unlikely to want to meet up with you. At the very least you need to be memorable.
So how do you write a good elevator pitch?
- First, write down the “deliverables” — the services or features that you provide.
- Then, think in terms of the benefits that your clients could derive by working with you. You could use several successful client outcomes to provide testimonial to what you do.
- Once you’ve got that written, create an opening sentence that will grab the listener’s attention. The best openers leave the listener wanting more information. You don’t have to include your title. Your audience can use that as a reason to come and chat.
- Finally, your elevator speech must roll off your tongue with ease. Practice your speech in front of the mirror and with friends. Record it on your answering machine and listen to it. Do you sound confident? Sincere? Is it engaging?
- Remember your elevator pitch should develop and be updated. It has to be relevant. You may even have 3 or 4 written and practised, ready for all occasions.