First of all, let’s talk about what an elevator pitch is. It’s a 15–30 second soundbite about what you do that compels people to take action to buy your product or service. The name comes from the idea, “short enough to get your concept across to a person in the time between floors in an elevator”. It should include a call to action to whomever you are talking to so they can understand how to reach you or move to a step of action, like making an appointment.
Anyone with a job, not just in sales, will need an elevator pitch at the ready when in any business or even social environment. When you are asked by new acquaintances, “What do you do?”, well, that is an opportunity to present your awesome elevator pitch. The obvious is at networking meetings or mixers and when calling prospective clients during your “blitz” sales events. Having an effective sales pitch in your back pocket is as important as advertising on social media — it’s all about telling people who you are and what you do!
Here are 10 helpful steps to effectively prepare and deliver yourself in the best 30 second soundbite
- Understand your audience and who your ideal client is — you don’t want one elevator pitch that you have memorized because it will sound just like that. You need to understand your clients and have several versions based on who you are talking to.
- Explain what you do — start your pitch off by simply explaining what you do or sell. Stress not just benefits but try to paint a picture of how you can improve their situation or life. For example — “imagine waking up rested, relaxed and excited to wake up and go to work — I work with women to help them transform themselves to a place of confidence so they can achieve their dreams.”
- It’s OK to use “salesy” words like original, certified, leading, etc. Just make sure not to overdue their use so it is an additive and doesn’t push people away.
- Make sure you are using words that do not stop the person to take pause because they don’t understand something you are saying. Avoid business jargon and make sure your message is clear and concise.
- Know your business!!! Define your business or service so you can be precise and clear when presenting it in an elevator pitch.
- Remember to structure the pitch to focus on the needs of the person you are speaking to. Talk to the benefits you will bring, quickly and concisely. As a long term salesperson, I saw how sales language changed from just stating features to stressing benefits. It goes to what I am saying here.. give them the benefits of working with you.
- Try adding a statistic or fact to grab the attention of the audience — do this at the beginning. For example, I use, “Did you know that according to a Gallup poll, 63% polled said they were checked out at work and 23% hate their jobs? With women being less satisfied than men on average.”
- Don’t ramble or speak in monotone and keep up your energy level. Smile and be engaging by using constant eye contact. Don’t speak too fast. Mentally force yourself to slow down when practicing will help when you deliver the pitch to a new audience.
- Which leads to — invest time in practicing your pitch!! Set a timer for 30–60 seconds in front of a camera or someone you trust. Join and take advantage of networking groups that make you feel comfortable and welcome. They are a GREAT audience to practice your elevator pitch to but ideally you want to prepare by trying it out on friends and family first. Ask for criticism. Record yourself doing it and revise it until it appears to flow well and provide all the important information.
- Finally — don’t just hand out your card. Ask the person if they can share their email, phone number or card so you can follow up to set up an appointment or free consultation. And this is the Call to Action point also… like — How can I get on your calendar so you don’t waste any more time? Or I have a short quiz I’d love for you to take that evaluates your current state of mind regarding your life — -Can I email that to you and set up a follow up call to review it?
Remember this is a very important tool for any entrepreneur or sales person and should be at the top of your list of things to master. Also don’t forget to cater the specific message to your current audience.
Now, go create your most rockin’ elevator pitch and practice until it comes out naturally!