Prepare a Strong Elevator Pitch

Ever find yourself in a room with a key prospect and you couldn’t succinctly explain your business to her—in less than a minute? Perhaps you rambled on, never getting to the point, or you froze up. Then you need a solid elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is designed to get the person standing in front of you (in the proverbial elevator or networking event) to develop an interest in learning more about you and your company. It is not a sales activity, but it could lead to one in the future.

In general, your elevator pitch or your brief introduction to somebody should include the following:

1. Your name, company name, and your role in the organization. 2. A clear, brief description of your product or service and the benefit(s) it provides. 3. A statement about what makes your product or service unique or sets it apart from competing products or services. 4. A brief but compelling statement about your product’s or service’s value (i.e., improves health or saves money). 5. A demonstration of your personal energy and passion for making this business succeed (words not always required for this).

The following is a general template that you can customize to develop your elevator pitch:

Hello. Thank you for asking about my company. I’m [your name], and I’m the [title] for [company name]. We offer [competitive advantage, value/benefit] to the [target customer] to meet or satisfy the [target customers’ major want or need that your company fulfills—this is a benefit statement].

We do this by [product/service brief description].

We feel passionately about this because [i.e., your passion, skills, and technical expertise].

If this is of interest to you, I’d love to provide you with a little more detail when we have more time [when we aren’t stuck in an elevator or on the soccer field]. Can I get your business card so I can call you to set up a time to speak further?

Practice this in front of the mirror, and you’ll be amazed at the response you get the next time you try to connect with a prospect—in the elevator or at a networking event.

Beth Goldstein President Marketing Edge Consulting Group Boston

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.