The last Friday in July is recognized as “Talk in an Elevator” day, where people are encouraged to strike up a conversation with a stranger in an elevator. The idea of an elevator pitch has been around for decades, and it draws a sense of intrigue.
The concept is simple—if you run into someone in an elevator, would you be able to sell them on your business, your product or even yourself as an employee in the short amount of time it takes to get to your destination? Imagine you step into the elevator and see the CEO of a company you’ve been dying to work for, or a potential customer that could be a huge business deal for your company. The clock’s ticking…What do you say?
Use this holiday to brush up your elevator pitch for your marketing materials and also with your staff and team members who can help spread the word about your business. You only have a few short minutes to make a lasting impression, so here’s how you do it.
Assume your audience knows nothing, but get to the point.
You never know who you’ll be giving your pitch to, and the person may know nothing about your business or who you are. That’s why it’s important to be concise, yet thorough. It’s a fine line! Take a pass at writing out what you’d like to say to a stranger to get your point across. Then, take your editing pen and cut where you can. Then do it again!
Detail what’s in it for the audience.
Unless your pitch details a benefit for the audience, they’re likely to lose interest quickly. What can you or your business offer the audience that they can’t get elsewhere? Consider your competitive advantages. Ask yourself, “What can I offer that my biggest competitor cannot?” Do you have the lowest prices? Maybe you’ve won awards to back up your claims of being the best. Highlight these features for your audience so they are hooked from the beginning.
Have your information ready to go.
If you haven’t given your audience next steps to reach you once your brief time comes to a close, the encounter will soon be a distant memory. Have a business card ready to go, or an easy way on your phone to exchange information. The easier it is for your audience, and the faster, the better. Exchanging information also has to be factored into your timeclock, which continues to tick.
Follow up with the other person in the “elevator.”
Elevator pitches don’t have to always happen in an elevator, but you get the picture. If you successfully pitched yourself or your product, you’ll have also grabbed the contact information of your audience. Remember, this is an exchange and should be more than one-sided. After a few days if you haven’t heard from your audience, send a follow-up that thanks them for their time and attention.
Ready to put your best foot forward? Rehearse your pitch so that you know exactly the details you’d like to get across for your audience. You never know who you’ll run into and the partnerships or relationships you may be able to form. The next time this happens, you’ll be ready.