August 21, 2012
If you know anything about business, you’ve probably heard investors, entrepreneurs and others talking about the importance of elevator pitches. As a business owner yourself, you should take notice. It’s important for you to be able to tell people about what your business is, what it does and why it’s going to be a success – all in two minutes or less. You might find that an opportunity to give this kind of speech presents itself unexpectedly. After all, there are a lot of business deals which are done outside of the office and outside of regular business hours. Keep reading to find out how to be ready to deliver your elevator pitch at a moment’s notice.
Your pitch needs to communicate exactly what your company does quickly and concisely. Tell your listen why your product or service is important to its target market. Don’t dwell on how the product works, it’s the results and the benefits that the product or service offers to customers that people really want to know about.
You should be open about acknowledging the existence of competition. In fact, if you say that you don’t have competition, you’ll seem less than credible right off the bat. Your company isn’t identical to your competitors, after all (at least it shouldn’t be). Competition is a sign that others think that your industry is one where there is money to be made.
While it’s fine to mention your competitors, you have to be able to make a strong argument that your company is more than capable of outperforming them in the marketplace. You have to know what your advantages are and be able to explain them, since these are exactly the kinds of things that can get the notice of a venture capitalist.
Finally, you have to tell your listener about the unmet need in your target market that your company is uniquely positioned to fill. Use data culled from market research; while you shouldn’t bore your audience with a laundry list of facts and figures, a few well-chosen facts can make an impact on a potential investor. Your elevator pitch should end with a confident, but not overconfident statement that your business is the ideal company to meet the market’s needs. In short, you need to communicate that while there are competitors, they can’t do what your company can and that’s why you’ll succeed where other companies will fail.
Any speech or presentation is only as good as its preparation. Practice your pitch at every opportunity until you can give it at any time without a hitch – since you never know when it’s time to make your elevator pitch.