How to Develop a Brilliant ‘Elevator Pitch’

Have you ever been asked by someone – So what do you do?

And somehow the words don’t quite come out the right way. You know what you do. You kind of have some idea how you could pitch it to someone. But there you are, with an opportunity to pitch your compelling value proposition and you’re lost for words.

It’s time to develop a brilliant ‘elevator pitch’. Here’s how …

I love tangible teaching  – the theory and the practice mixed in together. So, here’s the theory, and we’re going to imagine that you and I have just stepped into an elevator, and you’ve asked me the question: So Berni, what do you do?
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Step 1: Articulate & Establish the Need

People will only really listen to you if there’s something in it for them. Sad … but true. So the first thing to do is to give them a reason to listen. The way we do that, is by articulating a commonly felt need. Something that just about everybody is going to instantly tap into.

In the case of what I do, most business know that they struggle to communicate their message in an increasingly cluttered world. So here’s the way I’d establish the need.

By the way, the best three words for kicking off the pitch are “You know how …” because they invite an internal, emotional ascent and answer to a question. And questions are the best way of engaging someone, don’t you think?

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You know how one of the hardest things in business, is getting your message across? I mean advertising’s expensive and in any case, just about all of us struggle to explain our value proposition. That thing that we do, just about better than anyone else.

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Step 2: Meet the Need

Once the need is articulated and established, the next thing is to explain how you can help meet that need. Not in terms of the “widgets” that you produce. Who cares?! So you produce widgets. So does the next guy. Remember, I don’t want to know what you do. I want to know what you can do for me.

So part 2 of your elevator pitch is addressing the need, with your solution.

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Well that’s what I do. I help business like yours to understand their brand, position their brand, articulate their brand … all in a way that connects to the needs of their customers and in a way that causes them to spend their hard-earned cash with you. It’s about growing your sales. 

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Step 3: Make a Compelling Value Proposition to Cement the Connection

By now you have their interest, but you’re almost at your destination floor in the elevator and the door’s about to open. If you don’t establish a connection and reason for follow-up right now, the conversation’s been wasted. How do you do that?

Offer to give them something or send them something that’s going to be of value to them. Something they’ll really want. For that of course, you need their business card – and now you have a reason to send them something, follow them up … and build the relationship.

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Whoop. We’re almost here. Hey I’ve actually put a case study on my website about a business not unlike yours – we sat down and worked through their branding issues and within a week or two, we’d increased their sales by 21%. If you give me your business card, I’ll send you the link …

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There you have it – 45 seconds, 150 words and an elevator pitch that’s established a need, piqued their interest with a solution, offered to help, and resulted in a business card to take the conversation to the next step.

Was that worth doing do you think? 

Thanks to Chris Newton of Results Corporation for his insights in compiling this post.