If you’ve spent any amount of time in the world of business, you’re likely familiar with the elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a summary of your idea which can be delivered verbally in 60 second or less. Sound complex? It is! But it’s also well worth the time and effort it takes to develop a good one.
Why Is An Elevator Pitch Important?
As you work to grow your business, the one question you’ll continually face is “Why?”
Why does your idea matter? Why does your company need money? Why should an investor support you rather than the other 20 founders that knocked on his or her door today? Why is any of this important?
If you don’t formulate a real answer to these incessant “Why?” questions, you’re going to find yourself missing out on attention, funding, and traffic.
This is where the elevator pitch comes in.
Designed to sum up the vision, direction, and outlook of your company in a neat package, the elevator pitch is something you’ll rely on when you’re raising capital, networking, or cold calling potential connections. Because of this, it pays to spend the time needed to ensure you’re getting it right.
The 6 Key Components Of A Compelling Elevator Pitch
For an elevator pitch to be effective, it must contain the following six components:
1. Identification Of The Problem You’re Solving
For a pitch to be compelling, it needs to revolve around a problem your company or venture is working to address. Regardless of whether the problem is uncomfortable shoes or inefficient vehicles, identifying a problem allows other people to connect with your pitch.
2. A Discussion Of The Solution
Now that you’ve identified a problem, what’s the answer? This is one of the most important components of your elevator pitch. By following your problem statement up with a brief breakdown of the solutions approach your company takes to address the issue, you’ll be well on your way to a fully developed elevator pitch.
3. A Definition Of Your Target Audience
A target audience is critical for everything in business, and an elevator pitch is no different. By understanding who your market is and who your solutions are meant to serve, you can hone and develop your elevator pitch that much more.
4. A Statement About What Differentiates You From The Competition
No matter how unique your idea, it’s virtually guaranteed that someone has done it (or something similar to it) before.
With this in mind, your elevator pitch will need to touch on what your company has that nobody else does. Why are you different from the competition? What sets you apart from similar businesses in your industry?
These details make your pitch more memorable and compelling.
5. Information About The Skills That Make Your Team Uniquely Qualified
A business idea is only as good as its founders, and the people you pitch to want to know about the brains behind the company. With this in mind, be sure to include some detail about the skills your founders or teammates have that make the idea highly plausible or render the team uniquely qualified.
Be sure also to include a brief discussion of the milestones you’ve already achieved (if any) and how you got there.
6. A Summary Of Your Financial Outlook
Most pitches boil down to money, and anyone you’re pitching to is going to want to know that your idea holds water. Because of this, it’s essential to include detail about the financial forecast you’re predicting, and any current funding you have.
5 Steps To Develop Your Business’ Elevator Pitch
To craft a perfect elevator pitch, simply follow these steps:
1. Define Your Goal, First & Foremost
A goal gives your pitch the guiding structure it needs. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, only that you define it right out of the gate.
2. Discuss What Your Company Is Doing To Meet That Goal
Now that you’ve set the stage, it’s time to flesh your business out a bit. How are you striving to achieve that goal? What do you do, exactly? Which problems do you solve? Answering these questions results in a fully-formed elevator pitch.
3. Highlight What Makes You Different
More likely than not, the person you’re pitching hears thousands of pitches each year. Because of this, it’s essential to set yourself apart by defining what makes your company and team unique. To do this, feel free to compare yourself to similar businesses or highlight one decidedly unique factor of your company’s approach.
4. Ask The Person Listening A Question
Asking a question is a great way to grab interest and spur conversation. With this in mind, ask the person listening an open-ended question. The following is a good example, “Many people find that they want a larger vehicle, but can’t afford expensive fuel costs. How do you handle this dilemma when shopping for a new car?”
5. Rehearse Your Elevator Pitch Before You Need To Use It
Practice makes perfect, and rehearsing your elevator pitch ensures you’ll be able to use it quickly and easily the next time you need it.
A good elevator pitch is a critical part of any business, and it’s well worth the time and effort it takes to develop one.