Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Elevator Pitch - It is YOUR business!

An "Elevator Pitch" is a concise, carefully planned, and well-practiced description about you or your company that your mother should be able to understand in the time it would take to ride up an elevator. It is NOT a sales pitch. It is a brief introduction to let your audience know about the goods and/or services you have to offer.

The most effective elevator pitches answer the following questions:

What is the name of the product or service?
  1. For business - What is the product or service that you are trying to sell?

  2. For personal - What is your current job title?

  3. If you are a job seeker - What is the job title of opportunity you are seeking?

What are the competitive advantages of the product or service?
  1. For business - What makes your product or service ‘better than’ the product or service that potential customers can get from your competition?

  2. For personal - What makes you good at what you do?

  3. If you are a job seeker - Can you fill the need[s] of a potential employer?

What is your hook?
  1. For business - What is the tag line for the business?

  2. For personal - Why does anyone need to remember you?

  3. If you are a job seeker - What can you do or say to help those you meet remember you?

When perfecting your elevator pitch it may be helpful to consider and incorporate the following helpful hints:

  • Concise - Use 100 words or less to focus on what is at the core of your message
  • Clear - Use terminology that laypeople can understand
  • Make some kind of request - Do you want their business card, to schedule a full presentation, to ask for a referral?
  • Practice your delivery and keep it fresh - Your language, your approach, and what you choose to highlight for a particular audience has got to change over time
  • Use powerful words
  • Use words that create a visual image to help your audience remember you and/or the product you are selling
  • Stick to hard facts and numbers
  • Tell a story - Focus on the opportunity/problem that you have encountered and why you or your solution is the most unique way to provide value and benefit to your audience
  • Target your pitch to the right audience - Develop more than one pitch, if necessary

Copyright © 2010, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved.Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2010, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of Mary Salvino.“Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career Planning.com. This blog is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at Mary.Salvino@shaw.ca