Pitch Perfect: Crafting Your Elevator Pitch

Dana Hershman

When thinking about the purpose of an elevator pitch, I immediately think of job interviews and answering that first question of “tell me a little bit about yourself”. Over the years I have learned the importance of mastering my own 30 second elevator pitch. Now being a PR professional, I see the importance of having one for my own company, and the companies I represent. This planned and well-practiced description is essential for companies looking to differentiate themselves. An elevator pitch is the perfect opportunity to make a powerful impression on media or potential clients. Hooking the audience in so they want to hear more about what your company does is the most effective way to market your business and gain new customers.

So without further ado, here are four tips for perfecting your elevator pitch:

Make them care 

This is one of the most essential pieces of a really great elevator pitch. For media especially who get pitched every day from similar companies with the same objectives, how do you make them care about what you have to say. The first two lines of an email or ten seconds of a call can make or break your success. What most people want to know is that oh-so-pivotal question: “What can you do for me?” Answer that early on so the audience understands how your business can fulfill their needs. pitching elevator

Be natural 

The best way to be believable is by being natural. No one wants to answer the phone to hear someone robotically talking at them, as this will most of the time lead the person to hang up. Confidence, and an upbeat and natural delivery make for the best elevator pitches. One of the best examples I have from my own experience is from pitching one of my clients. Really wanting the media to understand what a great company this was, and why they should cover the news, I found myself relaxed comfortable. This, in turn, makes your potential client more comfortable, and more willing to stick around a little longer to talk about your company.

Differentiate yourself

This is no easy feat, making your company stand out among thousands of others. But, a potential client will want to know how your business is different and why they should pick you. A good differentiator could be a concrete fact, something that is measureable rather than an unsupported claim. Here is an example: “We take a proactive approach to tailoring our efforts for each client, going the extra mile to offer creative ideas for campaigns, press releases, tradeshows and other activities to ensure that you are always seen as a market leader and as a thought leader.” This point illustrates the company’s process and explains specific ways they would achieve positive results for the prospective client. No one wants to hear a fluffy statement like “Our enthusiastic employees will provide you the best service”, as there is no real significance behind it. Prove that your business model is exactly what the client is looking for.

Have a call to action

Once the difficult task of differentiating yourself is over with, the next step is to remember the end goal. For example, at the end of a new business pitch, what is the ideal outcome? Is it having the person start a free trial of the product, or even just getting an email address to send along more information? Whatever it may be, it’s important to make a plan at the end of the pitch. A strong exit is just as powerful as a strong start.

As always, practice makes perfect, and it will take some time to formulate your perfect elevator pitch. But using these three tips will ensure you highlight the most important features of your proposition.

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