In a recent teleseminar, I shared four pieces of information every elevator pitch must include so that your audience will know exactly who you serve and how you do so.
Since that call was mostly for private group members, I’d like share that information with all my readers here today. Toward the end of this article, I’ll also share some tips on what to do if you have to cut your elevator pitch short. Let’s face it, at informal cocktail parties, you can’t stand in a circle with four or five people and dive into an entire elevator pitch without sounding canned or long-winded. It must sound natural.
A couple of problems around the shortened elevator pitch I’ve encountered lately at networking events:
People at networking events who simply state their name and the name of their company, like “Morgan Stanley” or “Goldman,” etc. Everybody else in the group nods knowingly and looks impressed, but I daresay they have no better idea what that person actually does than I. Yes, the big company name offers some brand recognition, but that’s not specific enough.
Folks who immediately dive into long descriptions of their company’s history, or a listing of services that their employer provides customers. Perhaps this is to compensate for not being able to provide a well-known company name? By the end of these introductions, I also have no idea what that person does to serve their clients, and I’m more than ready to move on and meet someone new.
So here are four pieces of information that a strong elevator pitch should include:
The WHO. You must identify your audience. In other words, who is your target market? What are their common characteristics? Can you name your niche in 1 to 3 words? If you’re working on your elevator pitch and not sure exactly who your target market is yet, my eBook on the subject includes a section to help you define your market.
The WHAT. What is the primary benefit of your product or service? Warning: do not describe the features of your service.
For example, “public speaking coaching” is a feature of my service, while “becoming a confident public speaker” is a benefit of my service. “Guiding clients through speech construction” is a feature as well, while “consistently delivering clear messages” to your audience is a benefit.
Here’s a secret: to identify the primary benefit to include in your pitch, focus on the primary point of PAIN of your target market. Offer a solution to that. Don’t assume that you know the primary point of pain. Research this!
Give your primary benefit the “pillow talk test.” Is this benefit something so simple, and powerful a need that your prospect would tell their spouse about it in bed after the kids have gone to sleep?
The WHY. Why is the benefit is so important to the client? How will this change the clients’ life for the better? What’s the purpose? Again, this is based this on research. Your listeners want to be alleviated from their point of PAIN, but in order to be able to do or be what? Add this to your introduction after you state your primary benefit.
The HOW. How do you differ from your competition? What’s your USP (unique selling proposition)? If you have that sorted out, then you’re in good shape. Add it at the end of your introduction.
Here’s my elevator pitch, based on the formula above:
“Hi. I’m Lily Iatridis. I help business professionals become confident public speakers, so that they can be The Expert in their area. I draw on 17 years of experience in martial arts and apply those principles to help clients overcome their fears. I also rely on 10 years experience as a classroom teacher to help clients deliver clear messages and develop a strong relationship with their audiences consistently.”
A few tips if you’re short or long on time:
If you only have 5 seconds, just state the WHO and the WHAT.
Example: “Hi. I’m Lily Iatridis. I help business professionals become confident public speakers.”
If you only have 10 seconds, state the WHO, WHAT, and WHY.
Example: “Hi. I’m Lily Iatridis. I help business professionals become confident public speakers, so that they can be The Expert in their area.”
And if you have more than 30 seconds to give your elevator pitch, use the opportunity to be creative. Share a story highlighting a benefit of your product or service, offer a quick tip, or build in some credibility factors, like some information on amount of people who have benefitted from your service already.