You just arrived at the airport in time to catch a flight to Lagos. Behold, Alhaji Aliko Dangote in front of you. You go over to greet him and tell him how you have been admiring him for so long from a distance. He thanks you and ask; what do you do for a living. You freeze, get nervous and your head suddenly become empty. Within that short space of time, his flight is called and he is on his way. Confusion set in. what really happened to me? A good elevator pitch could have landed you a sweet deal at that moment.
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a short statement of between 10 to 30 seconds that explains what your organization does, in a clear and succinct manner.
It has to be brief and persuasive so that you can be able to use it to garner interest in what your organization does, an idea, product, project or even in yourself. It must be interesting, succinct and memorable. you use it to explain what makes you, your product or idea unique.
When to put an elevator pitch to use
So many people ignorantly feel that elevator pitch is only for marketers who constantly need to pitch their products and services to prospective clients. They are wrong.
You could use an elevator pitch to introduce your organization to a potential client, to sell a new idea to the chief executive officer of your organization, to talk to potential financiers about the not for profit organization(NGO) you are currently running. You could even creatively craft one for yourself so as to talk to people about what you do for a living, for the purpose of networking.
Creating a good elevator pitch
Make no mistakes about it, creating a good elevator pitch doesn’t just happen at an instance. You would likely go through several versions before finding one that is persuasive enough and sound natural to stir up a conversation.
I am going to outline some steps that will help you to create a good elevator pitch. Bear in mind that, in this instance, approach work with circumstance.
Identify your goal.
You need to start by thinking about the objective of your pitch.
For instance, do you want to talk to a VIP about what you do for a living? Do you have a great new product idea that you want to pitch to an executive of an organization? Do you want to tell potential clients about your organization? Your objective should guide your pitch.
Explain what you do
It is always good that you start your pitch by articulating what your organization does. It will do your organization much good if you focus on the problems your organization solves. If possible, add a statistic that shows the value in what you do.
Always bear in mind that your pitch should have the ability to excite you after preparation. If it doesn’t excite you, it will not excite your audience. It should possess the ability to put a smile on your face after preparation. Your enthusiasm while rehearsing matters a lot.
Example of a good elevator pitch
Consider this example; your company develops an accounting software. You meet someone very important and want to introduce the person to the software. You introduce it in this manner; “Hello sir, my company develops an accounting software”. The man might just thank you and leave immediately because your pitch was not specific. What about this approach. ‘’Hello sir, my company develops accounting software that enables companies to track loose finances. It has helped our clients to save millions of would have lost money’’. As a big business owner, that pitch should leave some taught in his mind immediately. He would want to know more.
Communicate your unique selling point
Your companies unique selling point is that point that distinguishes your company from other companies dealing on your same product.
You communicate your unique selling point after telling the person what you do. It will be much more effective.
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Engage with a question
After communicating your unique selling point, you need to engage the individual with a question if time permits. You need to prepare an open-ended question. A question that will require the person to say something other than a ‘’yes’’ or a ‘’no’’ so as to involve them in the conversation. Make sure that you are able to answer whatever question that is raised by the individual.
Put it together
Before going out to talk to someone, it is fine that you put your pitch together while alone or with someone you are very much familiar with. read it aloud and use a stopwatch to time how long it takes. It should be no longer than 20-30 seconds. Otherwise, you risk losing the person’s interest or monopolizing the conversation. Try to cut out anything that should not be there. It needs to be snappy and compelling. The shorter, the better.
Like anything else, practice leads to perfection. Remember, how you say it is just as important as what you say. If you don’t practice, it’s likely that you’ll talk too fast, sound unnatural, or even forget important elements of your pitch.
Set a goal to practice your pitch regularly. The more you practice, the more natural your pitch will become. You want it to sound like a smooth conversation, not an aggressive sales pitch.
Make sure that you comport yourself very well as you talk. it conveys just as much information to the listener as your words do. Practice in front of a mirror or, better yet, in front of colleagues until the pitch feels natural.
As you get used to delivering your pitch, it’s fine to vary it a little – the idea is that it doesn’t sound too pre deeply rehearsed or like it’s pre-prepared, even though it is!
Follow these steps and see yourself deliver a wonderful elevator pitch when next you meet a very important person that you would wish to turn to a client.