Elevator Pitch: How To Create The Perfect One

I noticed that not many people have their elevator pitch ready. It’s also called elevator-speech, -presentation, or -story. And, to satisfy my international public, an elevator is what the English call a lift.

To avoid any communication problems, it’s that cage that goes up and down in a shaft and brings people to different floors in a building.

Sometimes it only serves a few floors, sometimes a tenfold of that.
Which I only mention to indicate that there’s very limited time to give an elevator pitch. From 10 to 50 seconds maybe.

But these few seconds can be very valuable. Because…you just happen to be in the elevator with someone who is important to you. It may even be the only moment you are alone with that person. Now it’s time to grab the opportunity…

…with your elevator pitch.

elevator pitchWhich basically is nothing else but educating the other person about what you do, preferably with an implied benefit. Because, as always, they want to know ‘What’s In It For Me’, remember?

Now, if I would start my elevator pitch with: “I’m a chiropractor and I focus on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, with special emphasis on the spine”, I could get a response like: “Aha, interesting!” and that would be it. Photo Credit: McPig

Yeah, I know, I exaggerated a bit. But even if I explain that “I manipulate the spine and joints to make people feel better”, which is better already, I still may get that same response.

You see, what’s missing here is my target market and the problems that target market experience.

Suppose I would start with: “You know many people in the office always sit in the same position at their desk or behind their computer all day”, I would have identified my target market.

If I had that followed by: “As a result of that, they experience many muscle problems and back and neck pains that increase every day they do that same work, which makes them washed-out”, I would have described the problem too.

Mind you, I’m NOT a chiropractor, so I’m making this up. A real one could do much better.

Now we already have three elements of a great elevator pitch: target, problem and the solution (the ‘what I do’).

Next, all you need is to mention some results of your actions. Like, in the example above: “As a result of that, many of these people feel much better and are full of energy to complete their daily tasks”.

There, I’ve just described what I do as clearly as possible in just 4 sentences. Like the good marketer that I am, I can add a benefit to that: “On average, people treated by me produce 30 to 50% more work which make their superiors extremely happy”.

There you have my complete elevator pitch in 5 sentences: target market, their problem, what I do, the results of my work and finally, the benefits it delivers.

Again, I made this chiropractor thing up. A real one could improve this within minutes.

The point is though, that your elevator pitch never is complete. It’s an ongoing process of little, tiny improvements, depending on how recipients react to it.
You should always try to improve your best elevator pitch.

Do I need to say that, while this is called an elevator pitch, it doesn’t necessarily need to be said in an elevator?

You could also do that while waiting for the tube (for the Internationals: that’s an English word for underground railway system, also known as subway, metro or U-bahn).
Or waiting for a train, bus or tram (tramcar, trolley, trolley car, or streetcar; a railborne vehicle, of lighter weight and construction than a train, designed for the transport of passengers), shuttles or whatever.
Or, while standing in line for a dinner during a seminar!

And online, you can showcase your elevator pitch just before a webinar starts, when you’re in the room waiting for the host. Or whenever the hosts asks who’s online and you are allowed a tiny pitch for your online business.

There are many occasions for a good elevator pitch.
Create one! Keep it under development until you’ve found a great one. And even then, always try to improve your elevator pitch, because it can lead to a lot of money!

So, what’s your take?
Do you have an elevator pitch?

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