“What does your business do?”
Your answer to this innocuous question can make or break your next opportunity – everyone you meet has the potential to not only become a client/customer/lead, but also connect or refer you to their own network of potential clients.
This is why you need to work on your own elevator pitch to respond with – it’s as essential to a business as a logo or website!
Read more: 6 Ways to Get Great New Clients
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is your succinct description of what your business does and offers – it should be designed to educate your listener and lead on to the next stage of your conversation (ideally an enquiry!).
Unless you’re in an exceptionally tall building, you may not have a full minute to pitch your product and business – instead, you should prepare for a mini-intro to be followed by organic discussion or answering of questions to provide more information.
Effective elevator pitches don’t use hard-sell tactics, rather choosing to educate the listener. If your language is persuasive enough, you’ll be able to thoroughly convince them that your product or business would make a great asset to their life, rather than using aggressive tactics to pressure them.
One sentence to rule them all
The first key is to brainstorm a single sentence – how can you describe your business and what it does as succinctly as possible?
What, who, why, where?
What do you do or provide? Who is your target audience? Why do you do what you do? Are you local or international?
Answering all of these can provide you with the framework for your elevator pitch.
For example, Hub Australia provides premium coworking spaces and communities to businesses in Australia so that they can grow.
Read more: Want to Grow Your Business? Get the Basics!
Your elevator pitch may be very different if you’re explaining it to different people – someone who perfectly fits one of your member personas may understand what you do already, in which case you can focus on what your differentiators are.
If you’re talking to a friend or someone who has no knowledge about your industry, you will likely need to provide your pitch in layman’s terms.
Having a few different versions in your head ready to adjust or expand at any moment means you’re truly prepared for whoever you may meet!
Keep it simple
Jargon is alienating to the best of people – if someone is open and curious about what you do, make sure you talk to them as an equal rather than overwhelming them with acronyms and industry-speak.
The primary purpose of every elevator pitch is to educate, not to close the deal.
For those that you’ve already identified as prospective clients, you can expand into a more advanced elevator pitch – perhaps you have some statistics that showcase your expertise or seniority, or other information that will help set you apart as an industry leader.
For example: “Hub Australia is the largest Australian owned coworking provider. We provide premium workspaces to businesses in Australia so they can grow, alongside a community of 2,500+ members across 4 states.”
Delivery is half the battle of your elevator pitch – you can have the best words in the world, but if you don’t have confidence in your memory and delivery. Not everyone can be a great public speaker, but conveying that you are confident in your product and service is an essential skill that can pay for itself a hundred fold.
It may be worth investing in training for yourself or your team to develop your public speaking skills and know that you’re equipped with the talent to represent your business with confidence.
Know your CTA
If your elevator pitch is the result of a chance encounter, know what the next step you want to encourage is – do you want to give them your business card, or tell them to follow you on social media? Perhaps you’re speaking at an event you’d love to see them at – whatever the action, don’t be afraid to close your conversation with the request so your new prospective client or partner knows the best route to take to find out more!