5 Tips to Craft a Brilliant Elevator Pitch

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An elevator pitch is the shortest sales pitch you can give to someone, hopefully ending with an exchange of business card or a follow up meeting.

It usually last for about 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Due to its very brief nature, most people underestimate the complexities in crafting a powerful pitch to be delivered within such a short time.

Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States was once asked how long it took for him to prepare one of his speeches.

His response very much highlights the difficulties of a short speech.

“That depends on the length of the speech,” answered the President. “If it is a 10-minute speech, it takes me all of two weeks to prepare it; if it is a half hour speech, it takes me a week; if I can talk as long as I want to, it requires no preparation at all. I am ready now.”

However, crafting an elevator pitch need not be a herculean task if you know the elements which make it powerful.

Here are 5 tips to make it easier for you.

1. Grab Their Attention

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The trick in short pitches lies with the leading line. You will need a great hook that catches their curiosity and keeps them attentive.

If not, you’re just another pitch to be endured for the next minute or two.  For example, if I opened a pitch with questions like these

  • “We have successfully created a method to generate tons of sales lead with viral marketing. How would you like to increase your new sales appointments by 25%?”
  •  “What if you had a way to get your customers to market your products on their own accord… without costing you a single cent?”

The leading line should be powerful enough to get you attention you need for you to pitch the remaining elements.

2. Key Selling Point

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When you’re doing an elevator pitch, less is more. Being concise is the order of the day.

I’ve heard so many motor mouths shooting off their pitch trying to compress all their content within the short time frame.

Unfortunately, it comes across as a chunk of gibberish that is hard to digest or keep up with. Summarize your business into a few succulent bullet points or one-liners.

Give details only when they ask for it, if not, drop them.

3. Differentiation

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Tell them what makes you better than the rest. Answer the question of why they should invest in you instead of similar competitors in your industry.

If you have a unique proposition, pitch it.

4. Make it easy to join

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Tell them what you require from them. Everyone pitches because they need something.

You want to snag a new client? Do you need an investment in exchange for equity?

Let them know from the onset how much of the company you’re willing to let up. Be specific.

5. Have a call to action

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How you end off your pitch might be the next most important element after the leading line.

It’s like what they normally say – start strong, end stronger! You need to dare to make “the ask”.

Remember, you’re not trying to make a sale or secure an investment through your elevator pitch.

A successful elevator pitch is one that secures an appointment, a follow-up presentation or even an exchange of business cards.

Last but not least, you need practice, practice and even more practice.

I cannot further emphasize on this.

While it’s not one of the elements in crafting a pitch, it’s probably the one thing that would even make a horrible business pitch sounds remotely viable.

Practice is the prerequisite for confidence and passion in your pitch. So if you have an excellent pitch already, practice it relentlessly to give it that extra oomph!

Featured Image Credits: www.levo.com

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