Why such a fuss about elevator pitches?
Friday, September 21, 2007/
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Here are some pointers.
Your elevator pitch is the very first thing you say to someone when they ask you about your business. It is their first impression of you. Do you think that a bland statement will get anyone excited?
This is how it generally goes…
You’re at a cocktail function as part of a national conference. A stranger walks up to you, looks at you name tag and asks, “Hi John, tell me what Tectronica does?”
John: “Oh, we have this really smart technology for call centres. It is based on blah, blah, blah.”
Where do you go from here? The listener needs to understand where your company fits in the big picture. The stranger is forced to ask you more questions. He/she has no “hook” to relate how your company might link/work with/develop a relationship with him or anyone in his network.
Let’s replay the scene…
“Hi John, tell me what Tectronica does?”
John: “India took nearly 27% of call centre business in the last year alone. That hurt the local industry. There is a big need for smaller call centres to increase productivity to maintain market share.
“Tectronica offers solutions that will improve their productivity by 45%. We have combined with Allsys to develop the technology that will help call centres maintain market share, win new clients and increase their margins. A 45% increase in productivity is something that really excites call centres. We are about to expand into the European market.’
John closes: “I’ll give you a call in the next few days to follow up.”
Anatomy of an elevator pitch
Describe the market problem.
Tell the listener what your company does.
At some point in the elevator pitch mention who your customers are.
Definitely talk about your CMB – clear measurable benefit.
Don’t finish the conversation without a call to action.
You don’t need to have the elevator pitch in this order. However, get the punchline in right up front. And the punchline is always “the market problem”.
A killer elevator pitch will take time to develop, so don’t wing it. Carefully and deliberately work on your elevator pitch. It will be worth the effort.
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