An elevator pitch is your thirty to sixty second chance to sell yourself. Traditionally delivered in elevators to busy executives as they rushed between floors and meetings, the elevator pitch can happen anywhere now. If you're like most busy work-at-home moms, you may find opportunities to sell yourself or your company on the sidelines of soccer fields just as often as you would at a tradeshow.
Whether you're looking for a job, trying to sell a product, or looking for new clients, you will find opportunity everywhere, and an elevator pitch is your chance to grab that opportunity and make it yours. You should be prepared to give your pitch anytime and anywhere, but before you can deliver it, you will need to craft one.
The Components of the Perfect Elevator Pitch
Essentially, an elevator pitch is your own personal commercial. It is your chance to sell yourself, your product, or your services. Ideally, your pitch will start with a hook. The hook gets the other person interested so that they will listen to the rest of your pitch.
Once you have them hooked, your pitch simply needs to explain three things:
- Who you are or what your product is
- What you do or what your product does
- How you or your product is going to benefit the other person or their company
You Are Unique
While explaining these three points, you also need to focus on what makes you special. Countless people have internet marketing companies, thousands of women do web design, and hundreds of people have the “next Great American novel” saved on their computers. Your product may sound like everybody else's, but your pitch gives you the chance to set yourself apart from the rest.
If you have the extra experience, innovative ideas, or money-saving secrets that no one else has, you need to make sure that you highlight that.
Writing the Perfect Pitch
The perfect pitch probably isn't just going to pop into your head. It is something that you are going to need to carefully craft over several days or even weeks. To get started, you just need a pen and a piece of paper or a keyboard and a blinking cursor.
When you start writing, you should note everything that you would want a prospective client or employer to know about you or your business. It can be hard to talk about your accomplishments, and if you're having trouble, you should try to silence your inner critic. Let yourself shine during this process because you deserve it!
They Need You
Good advertising works because it makes people feel like they want or need a product, and your pitch is no different. You are selling yourself to someone, and you need to make them think that they need you. What hole are you filling in their life? How are you going to improve their business? Are you going to make them money? Will their lives be easier thanks to your service?
Editing for Perfection
Your first pitch may end up being a page or two, but once it's written, it's time to edit. It can be hard to summarize your best ideas or your years of experience into a short pitch, but it can be done. If you are using a computer, you may want to check the word count as you edit. Most people can speak about 150 words per minute, and your pitch shouldn't be any longer than that.
Once you have your elevator pitch written, you need to walk away from it. If you let your pitch rattle around in your brain for a few days, you can easily streamline and perfect it. Then, one day, while you are vacuuming, chopping onions, or clearing your mind at yoga, the words will rearrange themselves, and you will have your perfect pitch.
Delivering Your Elevator Pitch
Creating the perfect elevator pitch is only half the battle. Now, you need to get ready to deliver it. Fumbling speech and notecards are not going to impress anyone. Your pitch needs to be well rehearsed and natural. Imagine the best joke teller you know. Their jokes work because they deliver them well. The same joke told by someone else might not even be funny.
Practice is key to your elevator pitch. Practice in front of the mirror, with your children, or in the car. The more times, you give your speech to yourself, the better it will sound. As you practice, you should imagine the other person. You may even want to create a few versions of your pitch for different people and different scenarios.
You're ready. The next time you meet opportunity, you simply need to look it in the eye and deliver your pitch with confidence. The outcome may not be perfect every time, but you'll love it when it is.