Elevator pitches are everything. Your pitch is your audiences’ FIRST impression of you and your business, a make-or-break introduction, that has the power to a) get you some GREAT new clients or collaborations, b) do nothing at all, or c) (worst-case scenario) turn people off or leave a bad impression.
After having been in the entrepreneurial game for 5 years, and watching countless of entrepreneurs give their pitches, I feel like I’ve seen it all. I’ve struggled with my own pitch, palms sweating and thoughts racing as I would attend networking event after networking event, never feeling confident in my pitch until I hired a business coach to help me write it. Over time and after observing so many elevator pitches, I’ve honed in on 4 key elements that have the power to make you and your business memorable, build connections, and generate new leads.
4 keys to a successful elevator pitch
Of all the things I could tell you about elevator pitches, confidence would be *the* most important factor. There’s nothing like watching someone confidently rock their elevator pitch. Confidence is palpable and your audience will notice it.
Think about it: what does that confidence say about you? What impression does it leave? What assumptions are made when someone can speak confidently about their business?
If you’re like me, the impression is that the business owner has their stuff together, and that they believe in the quality of their work and their mission in business enough to speak strongly and clearly about it. They own their value, which in turn makes us think they’re valuable.
In that light, confidence is marketing 101. Confidence = belief in your own value = value = money. So in short, confidence = money.
2. Know Your Ideal Customer (and their problems)
This seems obvious right? But many times entrepreneurs are afraid to “own” their ideal customer. They don’t want to niche down, fearing they’ll eliminate business. (And I should tell you here that this is a false correlation – often times business owners are able to gain MORE business by niching down and serving only their ideal customers – it allows them to focus on them, cater to them, and deliver a special value that no one else can!)
When entrepreneurs are afraid to niche down, they won’t speak to or about their ideal client when talking about their business. This is a huge no-no, because if you don’t talk about your ideal client, how can anyone refer them to you? You’re missing opportunities.
So how do you know your ideal customer? You need to have a customer avatar. You can google some exercises for how to create your avatar. And if you’ve already done one remember that your avatar needs to be refreshed or changed over time, so it may be a good time to repeat the exercise. We go through an entire worksheet (and meditation) on this in our elevator pitch course – it’s THAT important. It’s the starting point for creating a killer elevator pitch.
3. Benefits Only
“Features tell, benefits sell.” So many times I hear features in elevator pitches. And not enough entrepreneurs know the difference between features and benefits. Features are facts about your product or services; benefits are how those facts and features actually help make your customer’s life easier.
For example, Femworking allows its members to visit an unlimited amount of meetings at any location each month. These are features. The benefit to this is that our members have ultimate flexibility. Double-booked yourself and need to miss your regular meeting? No problem! Kid got sick and can’t make a meeting? No problem! We’re here for you, and we’ve got you covered. This real-life and practical implication of our features are the benefits that help potential members see the value in what we’re offering.
So we could tell them about the unlimited meetings, but painting that picture of flexibility and how they would actually use it in real life shows them the true benefits.
Features solve your customers’ problems, and there is usually a corresponding benefit to each feature. So you can list out your companies features on one side, and the benefits on the other. Try to just use the benefits in your pitch.
4. Use Your Pitch to Get More Leads
One mistake I see made often is that treps giving their pitch only focus it toward the person in front of them. But the truth is that every person standing in front of you when you pitch has a whole other rolodex of people in their head, right?
Let’s take a look at an example. Let’s say you’re a hairstylist who specializes in repairing dry, broken, or damaged hair. You might be standing in front of Rapunzel, the last person who would be your customer, but you can design your elevator pitch so that Rapunzel starts thinking of all of her friends and colleagues and remembers that one friend who singed off all but 1 inch of her hair after years of over-processing.
You say your pitch and Rapunzel says, “Oh! I know *just* the person who could use your help, let me get your card.” She passes your card on to her friend and BOOM! new client.
So be specific in your pitch and paint a picture of your ideal client, so that the people you’re saying your pitch to start accessing their mental rolodex of people.
Want more? Download our pitch template!