Most sales pitches don’t take place in a prearranged meeting space. Frequent opportunities to make a sales pitch are brief and bound to happen unexpectedly.
You never know when you might be bumping shoulders with potential high-profile investors or clients, whether it’s at a convention, networking event, or simply a location that’s always brimming with business activity. For this reason, every entrepreneur should have a detailed business plan, and with that includes a well-crafted elevator pitch.
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is an extremely brief and incredibly persuasive sales speech or presentation and an effective sales tool that all entrepreneurs should have ready.
Imagine the length of an elevator ride, approximately 30 seconds. This is the length of time you have to make a strong impression while communicating all of the most important and interesting aspects of your business, providing just enough information to communicate you have a solution, but leaving enough questions unanswered to prompt your audience to make inquiries themselves.
Why do you need an elevator pitch?
While you may be very enthusiastic about your business and what you do, other people may be far less interested. Your usual sales pitch could be very well-constructed, detailed, and persuasive in the right environment, but in most situations your audience doesn’t have the time or patience to appreciate those details. Furthermore, the most important people you want to be pitching to are going to be the busiest. They want the most high-level information, and they want it fast.
Having an elevator pitch in the back of your mind at all times not only prepares you for the unforeseen opportunities that happen in everyday life, it will help you seize those opportunities and bring your business more success.
What should an elevator pitch include?
Your elevator pitch needs to communicate a great deal of information, but above all else, it must answer five questions:
- What is your product or service?
- What problem does it solve?
- What makes it unique?
- Why do you need funding?
- How will those funds be used?
Once you have the answers to those questions, you must begin planning how you will present that information in a short amount of time. Although the information itself is important, it means very little if the potential investor to whom you are presenting is disinterested. It is your job to captivate them and pique their interest.
To get people interested in your business, construct a strong opening line. It should immediately grab their attention and urge them to learn more. As you proceed with your pitch, pick one problem that your product or service solves, and stick to it to keep your message clear and succinct.
Keep in mind that it is a casual encounter, so you should be conversational and use plain language. Avoid buzzwords and industry terminology. They should feel like you are establishing a relationship, not trying to sell them on something. Your primary goal is to make a connection and introduce yourself and your business.
Lastly, finish off your elevator pitch with a question to open the door for more conversation. A statement will give the impression that you conversation is over, whereas a question guarantees a response. The question you select should be powerful, thought-provoking, and subtly encourage the potential investor to offer help only they can provide. If your business idea is solid and your pitch is strong, chances are they will want to get involved.
Before you head to your next business event, be sure to keep your elevator pitch handy and several business cards in your pocket. You never know if you will meet someone that can help grow your business.
For your longer and more formal sales pitches, make sure the meeting environment reflects your professionalism and makes a strong impression by using conference room rentals from Davinci Meeting Rooms.