Creating an Elevator Pitch

Follow these steps:

1. Decide your objective
Do you want to tell potential clients about your business? Do you want to get potential referrers or distributors interested? Whatever you want, start by writing it down – and you may have more than one objective so you may need more than one pitch!

2. Explain What You Do
Focus on the problems that you solve and how you help people. Add facts if possible to show the value you bring. Think about what you want your listener to remember most. Keep it light – you should be smiling and enthusiastic when you pitch! Be creative with your words.

For example, I could say “I use a technique known as customer journey mapping to identify weaknesses and gaps in business processes”. But that is boring, so I say “I draw pictures to help businesses get more customers and keep them for longer”. That normally gets people asking me questions and expressing interest.

3. Include your USP
You need to include your Unique Selling Proposition – what makes you different from your competitors. To take my example above, I say: “We are the only company in the UK that do this for SMEs and typically they grow by 50% within 12 months of using us”.

4. Use a question to engage your listener
Use open-ended questions (questions that cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no” answer) to engage your listener. As an example: “What do you feel is the biggest challenge for your business growth at the moment?”

5. Put It All Together
When you have completed each section of your pitch, put it all together, read it aloud and time it. If it is longer than 30 seconds, cut some out! Ask someone else to listen to it – do they think it is pacey and compelling? If not, rewrite it!

6. Practice, practice, practice!
Like anything else, practice makes perfect. You want it to sound like a smooth conversation, not a sales pitch. Check your body language as well – practice in front of a mirror or someone else until it feels natural. Feel free to vary it as you practice it – that way it does not become stale and boring!

One final tip:
Make sure you have some business cards and/ or brochures with you to hand out – and make them as interesting as your pitch!

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