Imagine you’re in an elevator and the person next to you turns to you and asks: “So, what do you do?” You could recite the paragraph-long unique value proposition you have on your website. Some people do that and find it to be successful. Others wing it with no script at all. But for those of you who want some structure around your elevator pitch, here are three pointers.
1) Be Brief, Yet Powerful
For starters, don’t think of it as a speech, but more of a verbal one-two punch, or tagline. Since you’re in an elevator (or passing on the sidewalk, or adding a description to your Twitter page), what you say has to be brief, yet powerful. Imagine you have about five seconds, or better yet, a brief sentence, to answer their question, impress them, and make them want to know more about you.
2) Focus on the Benefits You Bring
When creating your pitch, focus on the benefits you bring to your clients instead of the features. Here are a few examples:
- Financial Advisor: “I protect my clients from being sued by their employees—which is happening more and more these days.”
- Certified Public Accountant: “I prevent my clients from being audited by the IRS.”
- Search Engine Optimization Specialist: “I help businesses get found on Google.”
- Freelance Copywriter: “I help my clients say what they want to say to their audience. Effectively.”
Instead of telling people what you do, tell them how you help others. That makes it very clear to them how you could help them, too.
3) Speak Conversationally
Don’t use big words, or industry terms in your elevator pitch. Use words that you would naturally say so the delivery sounds more like you’re engaging in conversation versus recitation. If you don’t, you’ll sound like a robot. We’ve all heard those pitches, right? They sound stiff and scripted with no room for a conversation. Just relax. Have a chat.
As you learn more about yourself and your business, your elevator pitch should evolve as you do. To refine it, run it by a few friends and see what they think.
To sum up, your elevator pitch should be:
- Conversationally delivered
So, what’s your elevator pitch? Have you tried a few different ones? What have you noticed about the reception to each?