It’s a dream scenario for many company owners. You find yourself in an elevator with an investor or potential client and you have the opportunity to give him or her the short and sweet version of what your company is all about. Your elevator pitch is your chance to make a great impression on someone and to get him or her excited about your business and about the chance to contribute to it.
You only have a minute or less to get your point across, though. Here’s how to make sure your pitch is perfect.
Focus on “Who,” “What” and “Why”
When you make a quick pitch to someone, he or she may or may not have any idea of who you are or what your company. That’s why it’s essential that the meat of your pitch focus on the who, the what and the why of your business. Introduce yourself and your company, then get right to the heart of the matter. Say what your company does and what it can do for a potential client or what it can do to ultimately benefit an investor.
The “why” should focus on the problem your company solves and in particular, how that problem applies to the person you are addressing. Focus on the needs of your audience so that they understand why they should care about what you’re offering.
Boil It Down to a Single Sentence
Even if you’re not actually pitching someone in an elevator, your time with them is short. You only have a few seconds to hook him or her in. Condensing your pitch down to just a single sentence allows you to pique the other person’s interest. If he or she seems intrigued, you can go on with the rest of your pitch.
Boiling your pitch down to one sentence also helps you better understand what you’re doing and what you’re offering. It can give you some clarity about your company or even encourage you to go back to the drawing board if you can’t figure out the what or why and how to get convey that in just a few words.
Give Your Listener a Way In
After you’ve delivered your one-sentence pitch, the conversation can go a few different ways. Your listener might get excited enough about what you have to offer after hearing just that one sentence that he or she asks for more details, which is a good thing.
Alternatively, your listener might seem interested but might not say or ask anything. This is where you can given him or her a way into the conversation. One way to do that is to ask a question. Your question can give the listener a different way to think about your company or product or offer him or her clarity about it. Most importantly, the question will engage your listener in the conversation. You won’t simply be droning on and on.
Leave Room for Questions
Ideally, your pitch won’t take up the entire (proverbial) elevator ride. You want to leave the person with space to ask questions or with room to find out more about your business. Don’t ask “do you have any questions,” though. Your pitch should be sufficient enough that your listener picks up the ball and asks any questions or gives you his or her card to follow up with later.
It’s also important to remember to respect the other person’s time. If he or she has to go, don’t continue to go on about your company or product and don’t follow them. Hand over your business card and ask for theirs, and say that you’ll follow up by email or phone. Your elevator pitch is a chance to make a great impression. You don’t want to end up looking like a pest.
Although you can’t predict what will happen in a real life scenario, practicing your elevator pitch a few times in front of a mirror or in front of a colleague will help you smooth it out and condense it down so that only the most essential elements remain. If you’re looking for professional guidance when it comes to pitching, remember that the team at New Direction Capital is here for you. Contact us today to learn more about how our virtual chief financial officer services can help your company.
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