An elevator pitch is a short statement that explains what your company, product, or service is all about, and it should be compelling enough for the listener. A good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 20 to 30 seconds, hence the name. So the question is: how to use this small speech to fully convince someone to invest in your offer? There are a few tips and tricks that can teach you how to prepare a powerful elevator pitch so you can master it, or at least help you get better at it. These tips and tricks get at the core of the elevator pitch. Of course, you’ll very rarely find yourself in a literal elevator. However, there will be occasions when you won’t have much time to impress your investor.
This is a scenario in which you can’t afford to have any fat on your pitch. You need to trim everything down to its bare essentials and still convince your investor to buy it. That’s a rare talent and it involves a little bit of skill, and sometimes luck. However, if you’re like most successful businessmen, you make your own.
A few things to keep in mind first. Your pitch can’t be longer than 250 words. It needs to be short and succinct, yet shouldn’t leave out any important details. There should also be an emphasis on the most important parts of your business proposition, with a focus on why your business is different and why there is a need for it. There should also be a focus on how you intend to deliver a product or service and which audience wants it. Keeping all these things within a short word count is the biggest challenge of the elevator pitch. Here is a five-step process that can teach you how to prepare a powerful elevator pitch and help you make yours more effective.
1. Introduce Yourself
There should be an emphasis on summary here. Since you don’t have enough time to go through your employment history, you should stick to the essentials. You can introduce yourself to small business owners as a consultant or to engineers as a technical advisor. You should make sure that your introduction, though short, puts the investors at ease. You shouldn’t sound unfamiliar or strange to them since you’re asking them to invest in your company. Hence, do your homework about the investor
Secondly, you should talk a little about what you do. This is just a small intro to what your pitch is about. It’s a general statement about what your business is and what you hope to accomplish. Hence, if you’re pitching a charitable cause, you should zero-in on the central plan. If you’re pitching a product or service that is going to double returns, you should deal with that. And if you’re pitching a pure business plan, then you should focus on the central idea as specifically as possible.
Remember, your investors have seen it all, so they can smell an impostor or time-waster from a mile away. Don’t test them. Just get right to the point. Don’t try to improvise your way around, and have everything you need from the start. If you don’t believe me, watch an episode of Shark Tank and you’ll know how quickly time-wasters are eliminated.
2. Identify Your Niche Audience
This is crucial. Since your business can’t function without its clients, you need people to identify your niche audience first. Hence, you have to isolate a market that will pay for your product or services. If you’ve not isolated a target market, it will show that you’ve just created this product without a lot of research. This will make you look inexperienced and not serious at all. Failing to connect with your niche audience can ruin a lot of elevator pitches. If you don’t identify to the investors how they can make money, they’ll just walk away. Remember, you’re not asking for their money. You’re telling them why investing in your business can increase their wealth.
If you’re looking for an audience from the privileged class, then you need to identify why they’d want your service. And if you’re pitching this as a service for the masses, you’ll need to think about price points and affordability.
This brings us to the next point of how to prepare a powerful elevator pitch: distinction.
3. Show How You’re Different
This is referred to, in the business world, as a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). The one reason that Uber was different from taxicab services was because it offered convenience. You could call a car for yourself no matter where you were. Other services like Facebook and Snapchat offered unique ways to share your life with your friends. And services like WhatsApp and Messenger offered free calls over the internet for everyone. These things target a huge market. However, it’s more likely that your business is niche-focused. So make sure that you’ve selected your target audience based on their age groups, genders, nationalities, etc. before you design your elevator pitch.
4. Throw the Ball in Their Court
After you’ve made your pitch, let the audience know how they can contact you. The audience, if any of them are interested, will want to know how to contact you. Don’t make the mistake of not offering a direct line to your office. If they can’t reach you, they’ll go on to the next promising pitch on their schedule.
5. Hook Them Early On
This is something that you’ll have to put in between or in the beginning or at the end of the pitch. There’s no hard and fast rule. However, it is essential that this part is included. You need to put a hook in the elevator pitch that leads investors to your business. It should be something that intrigues them and piques their interest. This can relate to the profits you offer or how you’re different from everyone else. Either way, you should reel them in with this pitch.
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