How to Craft an Effective Elevator Pitch…That Can Land Big Business
An elevator speech or pitch is not something you actually present in an elevator – just to set the record straight. It’s a brief “commercial” about you and your business that you can deliver in about the same time it takes to ride in an elevator, however, anywhere between 30 and 90 seconds.
Your elevator pitch can be a powerful way to promote what you do and land new business. First, you have to have the right mindset. Think of it as your movie trailer – you are generating interest for people to ask you for more information. That’s the ticket! Think relationships not transactions. Think conversation starter not getting the sale. With an effective elevator pitch, you are positioning yourself as the expert. You want to introduce yourself in a way so that people want to know more.
There are three types – 10 second, 30 second and 60/90 second. Each elevator pitch is your commercial. Your 10 second commercial is what you use when you are meeting people one-on-one. You use your 30 second commercial when you introduce yourself in front of a group at a networking event. The 60-90 second commercial is something you would use if you were a sponsor for an event and you get to come up and have a couple of minutes to talk about what you do.
I firmly believe that the 30 second commercial is the best time frame. Once you have created that one, you can create the shorter version and a longer version. The longer you talk, however, the more chance you have to bore people!! Make it shorter and it has the potential to be more compelling.
Here’s what not to do: don’t sound like your selling ~ don’t go on and on about what you do ~ kill the vague words and phrases such as transform, strategize, paradigm, peace of mind ~ and of course don’t use any acronyms or clichés, especially “at the end of the day.” Kill me now!!
What to do: be brief ~ talk about benefits, outcomes, the pain you solve, the value you provide. It’s not about you – it’s all about what value you provide for others. The more you talk about you and what you do, the more boring it is. The more you talk about others and how you help them, the more interesting it is. And you have to be specific. Your grandmother should be able to understand what you do when you say it.
To get started, make a list of all the benefits that you provide or the pain or problem that you solve. Make a list of 25 benefits – this is the best exercise for building your confidence about the value you provide for people. How do you change lives?
Then identify your target market. Who do you help? You are going to tell people in your 30 seconds who you are looking for.
You’ll have five statements in your 30 second elevator pitch. Here’s my 30 second commercial:
“How would you like to build your confidence, position yourself as an expert, and land more business? My name is Pam Terry and I help people become confident and compelling speakers. I teach people how to overcome anxiety in any situation, how to prepare winning presentations, connect with their audience and get business from speaking. I am looking for entrepreneurs who want to improve their speaking skills. I’m Pam Terry and I love help people become compelling speakers.”
Your first statement should be a question. Why? Because questions engage the mind, they are the easiest way to create interest. Your question can start with “How would you like to know/have/be/build/etc.” or “How do you…” or “Are you tired of ….” Your first statement/question will paint a picture of an accomplishment or it might paint a picture of a pain or a problem. Like, “Have you ever been audited by the IRS or been afraid you might be?” It’s all about the outcome/value you provide or the problem that you solve.
In your second statement, you state your name and what you do – but you state in a way that you are talking about the value you provide – the benefits. Your next statement is a little bit more about the benefits or the pain and solution.
Tell a little bit more about benefits, value, problems solved in your 3rd statement. Drive home how you are changing and impacting people’s lives.
Identify your target market in your 4th statement. State who you are looking for in a way that you again state your problem/solution or outcome you provide.
Lastly, state your name again and your summary statement – very briefly. You want to leave people uplifted and thinking about you as THE person to go to for what you are talking about.
Once you develop your 30 second commercial, you will be walking taller and more confident about the value you do provide. It’s a great exercise and a total win. Practice it till you have it memorized. Before you go out and use it, work on your 7 word power statement. You’ll use your 7 word power statement when someone asks “What do you do?”
Here’s mine (always say it with a smile and make it very conversational):
“I help people become confident, compelling speakers.”
Once you have both your 7 word power statement and 30 second commercial prepared and you know them by heart, you’re going to be anxious to try them out. Do so as soon as possible!