8 Tips for Crafting a Powerful Elevator Pitch
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Every year in January our groups hold a mastermind with the topic “Crafting a Powerful Elevator Pitch”. If you’re a regular networker (if you’re in business you should be) then you know the importance of a strong, concise elevator pitch.
A lot of networking groups require you to keep your elevator pitch (also called commercial, ad, infomercial, etc.) under 60 seconds. Some groups even require you to keep it under 30 seconds.
If you’re not prepared a 30 or 60-second elevator pitch can be difficult and often comes off as clumsy. Even worse, it will have little to no impact. Your audience, many of whom are meeting you for the first time, will not remember you after the meeting.
You have failed the assignment!
Your elevator pitch is super important when networking. It may be your only opportunity to hook someone during that networking event. It’s even more important now that many groups have gone to virtual.
For the purposes of this blog post, I will use my standard elevator pitch. This elevator pitch has some components that I change out week to week, but others that remain static for a period. I also have it written down. I don’t write it down to read it. I write it down as a reference. I would not recommend reading your elevator pitch as people can often tell you’re reading, and you may come across as monotone.
Here is an example of my elevator pitch:
I am Scott Gombar, owner of Nwaj Tech – A proactive IT consulting firm – We make sure you never have to call your clients to explain why their data was exposed. We provide Proactive IT solutions with predictable, fixed costs that help you rest easier. We work with small businesses under 50, mostly law firms and healthcare providers.
Weekly topic goes here. This past week I talked about how Windows Updates were creating problems.
I would like to meet Lawyers/Law Firms in the Wallingford, Meriden area
At Nwaj Tech there are no condescending nerds or overpriced geeks. Just professional techs!
This takes me approximately 45 seconds. I would remove the weekly topic if I needed it to be under 30 seconds.
So, let’s break it down into the 8 tips.
8 Tips for Crafting a Powerful Elevator Pitch
- What Problem Are You Trying to Solve? Business owners face lots of problems. Any business that says they do not have problems they are facing is not being honest.My elevator pitch primarily focuses on preventing data breaches.
We make sure you never have to call your clients to explain why their data was exposed.
But also makes mention of helping the business owner rest easier knowing there will not be lost productivity or unplanned expenses.
We provide Proactive IT solutions with predictable, fixed costs that help you rest easier.
- What Do You Do, And for Who? What product or service do you offer, and who is your target audience?Be very clear about what you provide and who you would like to provide it to. This does tend to scare growing businesses because they don’t want to exclude potential clients.We work with small businesses under 50, mostly law firms and healthcare providers.Most of my clients are small businesses under 10 but I can comfortably support businesses up to 50. Most of my clients are law firms with a few health care providers but I also work with a moving company, a disaster recovery company, financial firms, etc.All of this is addressed with my elevator pitch.
- What is the goal of your elevator pitch? What do you hope to accomplish with your elevator pitch? Most of the time my goal is to reach potential new clients. Occasionally my goal is to invite people to a webinar, seminar, or training I am conducting.I would like to meet Lawyers/Law Firms in the Wallingford, Meriden area
For this version of my elevator pitch, I am trying to get introductions to lawyers in a specific area. You can get as specific as a person or business. This often works well with larger networking groups because someone almost always has a connection to whomever you’re trying to meet.
I have heard pitches asking for help with a non-profit/charity as well. This is a good way to help others by giving back to your community. It also shows your philanthropic side.
- What is your unique selling proposition? Why should someone choose your business over your competition? The keyword here is unique. Everyone claims to offer great customer service so that’s not unique.A proactive IT consulting firm– this is one of my USPs. We are very proactive. I don’t want you to call/email/text me. I want it fixed before you know something is wrong. Most IT providers are reactive in nature.
- Ask a question or tell a story – this is where the weekly topic or question comes in. Again, if your elevator pitch needs to be under 30 seconds, I would remove this.If you can include a story or question, then this is where you include it. I typically include a real-world example of something that has happened in the cybersecurity world. For my example I talked about the multiple issues businesses were having after Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday and why we don’t install updates immediately.
- Tie it all together – OK, so you have the outline of an effective elevator pitch. Now it’s time to put a nice little bow on it and tie it all together. Your elevator pitch should flow smoothly. That’s why step 8 is so important but it’s also important not to be all over the place.An elevator pitch where the person rambles and gets off-topic can be painful to listen to. Remember you don’t have long to hook someone into your pitch. Most humans are easily distracted. If you don’t have your audience’s interest in the first 7 or 8 seconds you will lose them for the rest of your elevator pitch.
- Add a tagline – This step isn’t necessary and can sometimes be difficult, but it will help your audience remember you.At Nwaj Tech there are no condescending nerds or overpriced geeks.People love our tagline. I hear it all the time. That means it works. They remember the tagline and who it is associated with (not always the name of the business, but definitely me).I have heard lots of great taglines in the many years I have been networking now. I almost always associate the tagline with the person who said it. I have connected with people years later and say something like “Oh yeah, I remember your tagline”.If you can create a catchy tagline, I encourage it. Test if before using it in public though. Ask your friends or business partners what they think.
- Practice-This should go without saying. Practice it in a mirror or get someone to practice on. Be open to feedback if you practice with someone else. Consider steps 1-7 as you practice. Are you touching all of these points with your elevator pitch?Once you’re comfortable with it then introduce it at your next networking event! Let me know how it goes.
We find that elevator pitches are very important. That’s why we revisit the topic yearly. We suggest that you review it from time to time for relevance and accuracy. If your business has evolved your elevator pitch should evolve with it.
If you would like to mastermind about elevator pitches we will do just that on January 28th at 9:30 am ET. You can register by clicking here.