A couple of years ago I had a chance to network with the local LGBT chamber of commerce here in Connecticut for the first time as just a member. For many years I’ve been running the organization and always actively promoted what the chamber did but never my business. It was my first day of being a member and being able to focus on ME and MY business – a far cry from what I’m familiar with. This got me thinking about elevator pitches.
If you are in business you have to have an elevator pitch. We’ve all been around the people who have the exact same elevator pitch every single time. Clearly there is something about the repetition that makes them memorable and therefore effective. But think about the elevator pitches you’ve heard, what are the ones that you remember? There are a few people that I can think of that have killer elevator pitches because they tell a story.
My elevator pitch was okay at best. I was more focused on coming in under the 60 second timer than on the story I was telling. As I was driving home from the event I was thinking of ways I could have told my story better. Perhaps I could have said consider me the lesbian version of Dear Abby because my website focuses on answering your questions about the LGBT community. Or perhaps I could have explained that my desire to make a difference in the community is what lead me to consulting with LGBT and allied business owners. At any rate, my elevator pitch could use some fine tuning. My own desire to improve my elevator pitch is what has sparked this blog post. Below are 5 tips I’ve uncovered to make your elevator pitch the best in the room!
5 tips for a killer elevator pitch
Get to the point – an elevator pitch is exactly what it sounds like. Being able to say who you are, what you do and why they should care in the amount of time it takes to get to your destination in an elevator. You have 30-60 seconds at most. I’m crafting two pitches one for 30 seconds and one for 60 seconds, then I will always have the right amount of words to match my given parameters.
Tell a story – convey your message using powerful and descriptive words that paint a picture and tell a story. Make sure the story ties into what it is that you do. As I gave a testimonial for someone else today who does landscaping, I thought of her possible elevator pitch. She taught me the difference between annuals and perennials (pathetic, I know). But rather than telling people she does landscape design she could tell the story of how she helped me understand the difference between the two, which saves hundreds of dollars and hours of manual labor each year, simply by knowing which flowers to plant. It gets to the point and shows how she can save her clients time and money from her wisdom and knowledge.
Target your message – depending on where you are will depend on the audience you are reaching. Make sure your message is specific to each unique audience. For example today at the LGBT chamber of commerce, I can say I help business owners and professionals target the LGBT community. If I were at my town chambers event I would likely say I help business owners and professionals target the gay community, because odds are that audience will not know what LGBT stands for.
Have a call to action – what is the end result you want from someone who hears your elevator pitch? What action do you want them to take? This was probably the best thing I had going for what I said. My call to action was getting people to join my next webinar. If I started telling them they could go to my website, listen to my podcast, buy my book, sign up for my training, hire me as a consultant, etc. – that would be very overwhelming. Think of your sales funnel – how do you want clients to reach you? In my case I want to introduce myself to potential clients through my webinar, educate them on the LGBT community and then showcase my other product offerings available should they be interested. Think about what yours might look like and create a call to action to match it.
I hope these tips have helped you. Feel free to put your 60 second elevator pitch in the comments below OR use my voicemail feedback line on the right side of your screen and leave it to me in a voicemail. If you do I’ll play it on air on my next podcast!