Does my elevator pitch have to last for exactly 30 seconds?
Wednesday, May 23, 2012/
Does an elevator pitch really last as long as an elevator ride or is that just a saying?
Do I only have 30 seconds to make an impression with a potential investor or will they give me more time than that?
In one of my previous posts, I talked about making the assumption that investors have ADHD. Your role is to engage their interest.
To go back a step, you need to think about your capital raising as a marketing process. The difference is that the product is shares in your company and your audience is very targeted.
When you are first taught sales and marketing, you are taught the acronym AIDA, which stands for: attention, interest, desire, action.
The elevator pitch has one simple intention: To gain the attention and interest of your potential investor!
Being able to explain your opportunity in one to two sentences should be one of your highest priorities. The truth is that you are going to be explaining what your business does thousands of times – literally.
So why not have a short, simple and effective statement that outlines what you do and why it’s unique?
Here are three key tips to gaining the attention of a potential investor:
1. Identify the value
Have an identifier statement outlining the challenge you are solving: It is vital that you have a statement/question that the potential investor can understand and connect with. Something that converts the unknown to the known in an instant, a statement that starts with “Do you know how…?” is a good start.
2. Explain your business
Explain your business in one to two sentences: One of the worst things that you can is talk continuously for 30 to 45 minutes without giving the investor the opportunity to ask questions. It will ensure that if the investor is not interested, they will not refer you to any of their networks who may be interested.
To simplify, your statement should start with “What we do is…” and then finish the sentence from there.
3. Establish credibility
After you have helped the investor identify with the challenge you are solving, briefly explain what you do. The next step is to provide a statement that establishes credibility in some form.
These are some of the ways to establish that credibility:
- Agreements you have with blue-chip companies
- Well-known board members on your team
- Government grants you have received
- Awards you have won
- Current growth rate, or website traffic increase if you are an internet company.
From here you could say “in the last six to 12 months, we have…”
So, in summary, investors will give you more than 30 seconds. However, it is important for you to gain their attention and interest in that first 30 seconds.
Aside from that, for your own benefit, it is best to establish a strong elevator pitch because over the next few years, as you go through this journey, you are going to be saying it countless times.