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Elevate Your Business With An Elevator Pitch

This post was originally published on Derbhile Dromey’ blog

Do you know what an elevator pitch is? You may have heard the term bandied about and even had to give one at a networking event. But a lot of people are uncertain about what an elevator pitch is supposed to do and how to put it together.

The term “elevator pitch” refers to a presentation you make about your business, designed to be delivered in a short space of time. The name comes from the idea that it should take as long as it takes to ride in an elevator. An elevator pitch is a weapon you use to help you make the most of opportunities, at networking events and at a chance meeting with a valuable contact.

Now, what should you put in?

For a 10-second pitch.

Who you are: Begin with the important information, a simple description of your business, what it’s called and what it does.

For a 30-60 second pitch.

Goals: Tell the person what you aim to achieve for your customers and how your business will solve their problems.

Services: Give them a flavour of the services you offer that help them achieve that goal.

For a two-minute pitch

Origins: Show your passion and originality of thought by telling them what made you come up with your business idea.

Future goals: Tell them how you’ll be expanding your business in future.

A good finish: A good slogan or tag-line drives your message home. Don’t  worry if a tag-line doesn’t jump out at you. Some businesses don’t lend themselves to tag-lines. A call to action is just as effective.

An elevator pitch doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate. The simpler your description of your business is, the easier it is for people to grasp what it is you do and ultimately to buy from you.

What’s your experience?

Every business has a story. Your story helps your business stand out from the crowd. It's your story that customers ultimately buy into. I help businesses tell their story using a three-step process. Define the story: Identify what you do, how you do it and above all, why you do it? Refine the story: Decide who's interested in your story and where to spread the word. Deliver the story: through blogs, newsletters, mailshots, social media posts, press releases and brochures.

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  • Nice one Derbhile. I guess for the 60 seconds to two-minute pitch I would include quick information about the segment and marketplace. In other words: your business will solve a problem for one thousand or 1 million people?

  • Hi Derbhile, For something like Dragons Den, they make a lot of sense but I remain unconvinced as to the usefulness of elevator pitches, as they are currently used at most networking events, in that they invariably end up becoming sales pitches. Networking like sales is a relationship building exercise, the problem with the way a lot of networking groups and people use EPs is that the focus is always on “me” rather than person been networked with?

  • Hello Derbhile, nnNice, concise article. Like you said closing with a call to action really helps close the loop as it reminds the audience what THEY should do next. nnIvannn

  • I think they can be good, if they are NOT used as sales pitches. At a networking meeting I regularly attend it is suggested that you state the type of referrals you are looking for and if at all possible name companies or types of industries you want to connect with. Without a good elevator pitch the people you are networking with won’t know if you are someone they are prepared to pass on to their connections. Great post Derbhile.

  • Great tips here Derbhile, thanks!nnThe most important aspect is how a business owner can help their clients – a good idea is to give an example of a client problem, and how it was solved. It is a way of connecting with the other person, without the “sales” pitch

  • To a point, I agree with Niall. Yet there are lots of opportunities every day when someone says ‘what do you do?” that we can either be ho-hum or generate some interest and a memory so that maybe down the track that person remembers us and refers business to us or we can help someone in some way because we were memorable in our short introduction.

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