In today’s society, the most common forms of communication are text messages, emails and 140 character tweets. This means that human beings now have the attention span equivalent to, if not less than, a 6-month old puppy. This is why it’s so important to be able to communicate your point quickly and powerfully with an elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive statement that you use to spark interest in what you or your business does. The name reflects the idea that you should be able to state the whole thing while riding up or down a few stories in an elevator, approximately thirty seconds to two minutes. The idea is to get someone to want to talk to you again after the elevator ride is over.
Keep it simple.
Steps to a Great Elevator Pitch
Follow these steps to create a great pitch, but remember that you may need to vary your approach depending on who you’re talking to. Tailor your response to your situation and audience. This will make you more personable and, ultimately, more effective.
- Explain Your Business
This is the foundation of any elevator pitch. Briefly and effectively explain your business. Never confuse your listener. You want to avoid using jargon, acronyms and terminology that others may not understand.
Try something like: “I’m a landscape designer specializing in small yards and spaces that my clients can easily manage and maintain.”
2. Communicate your competitive advantage
Try to say something that will set you apart from your competition. Identify what makes you and your business unique.
For example something like: “There are a lot of landscape designers out there who want to dig up your whole yard and re-landscpae it. I try to see what is already in your yard that we can use and add to it to enhance the space.”
3. Engage with a question
After you communicate your competitive advantage, you need to engage your audience in conversation instead of you doing all of the talking. To do this, prepare open-ended questions (questions that can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no” answer) to involve them in the conversation.
A good example could be something like: “What would your ideal yard and landscape look like?”
4. The closer
At the end, call your listeners to action. Tell your listeners about an upcoming event or send your listener to your website for more information. Always give them your business card as it’s a way for you to be remembered and gives you the opportunity for follow-up contact.
5. Practice make perfect
Practice, practice, practice! Practice until you can introduce yourself and your business in this short amount of time. The more you practice, the more natural your pitch will become. You want it to sound like a smooth conversation, not a memorized sales pitch.
It may take time to refine it and make it perfect, but once you do you’ll be able to use this elevator pitch when you bump into potential clients on the elevator, plane ride, grocery store line, etc.