And this is code right after that.
An elevator pitch. Those dreaded 45-second commercials that really, really do come in handy, especially if you’re ever actually in an elevator and have a captive audience!
A great elevator pitch effectively introduces you to potential clients. It should convey a value-oriented, compelling, and memorable message that encourages listeners to take action.
The goal is not to sell a service on the spot, but to begin an active dialogue that could lead to business in the future.
What is an elevator pitch?
Also known as a commercial, an elevator pitch should not be confused with a biography. Or a resume. An elevator pitch is an overview of who you are, what you do and how you can help the listener. It’s you, selling yourself, in a concise manner, in a format with which most people are familiar.
Although the elevator pitch is similar to a mini-biography, it’s delivered verbally and therefore should have slightly different wording. It should be punchy and memorable.
Who needs one?
Service providers who promote themselves on a regular basis should create several polished pitches, one per target audience, as an integral part of a clever and complete marketing tool box.
In fact, anyone who might ever meet new business contacts needs an elevator pitch. Attending an industry conference, a networking event, a seminar, in the grocery check-out line, or just enjoying coffee with a friend – there are always opportunities to make a connection. A smooth elevator pitch can transform chance encounters into scheduled follow-up appointments that lead to business.
Just the right size!
The perfect commercial should be 45 seconds, or about 150 words. Imagine you are entering an elevator at street level, and must deliver your pitch before you exit at the third floor. Remember, the goal is not to make a sale on the spot, it’s to create interest that leads to more questions . . . and eventually to a scheduled meeting to close the deal!
Most professionals can – and do – offer multiple services. That’s why many folks have several different elevator pitches to use in various situations. Some should be really quick – 30 seconds or less.
“What do Mariah Carey, Tom Brady, Stephen King, Jennifer Aniston, and Pope Francis have in common? They all have a publicist. You can, too! I’m Kathleen Veth from Write Connections. It would be my pleasure to represent you!”
Did you hook ‘em?
Like every good speech, an elevator pitch should open with a ‘hook’ to capture your target’s attention. You could try a joke, a question or a statement that entices the listener to stay focused on you for the full 45 seconds. The hook is critical when you are at a networking function and the person you’ve just met is already looking over your shoulder for the next connection. Seize their full attention with a powerful statement.
1) Do you know a teenage girl who’s old enough to babysit, but too young to be left alone all summer, or a woman who could use a boost of self esteem? I’m Kathleen Veth and my business is called Self Discovery Enterprises. Through workshops, seminars, and special events, our presenters help girls and women discover who they are and decide who they’d like to become. (65 words)
2) An astrologer once told me that in a past life I’d been a Town Crier. I think she was right! I wrote my first book when I was just eight years old. It was the tale of the time my uncle, a long-distance truck driver, lost his job and how his five children and I picked hickory nuts and sold them from a roadside stand to save the family farm.
I adore sharing information and ideas, and so journalism seemed a logical career choice. In fact, I cannot imagine doing anything else!
I’m Kathleen Veth and my business is Write Connections. I help artists, entrepreneurs and owners of small businesses write clear, concise and compelling messages and then connect them with the target audience and the media.
So, if you’re puzzled by publicity, or mystified by marketing, please call me, Kathleen Veth, and I’ll help you fit the pieces together! (150 words)
A sample process to craft an elevator pitch
Not all elevator pitches need to start with your name. An effective commercial begins with a clear understanding of your own value and target audience. To create an effective pitch . . .
- Begin with an action phrase or question. Some folks start with a testimonial they’ve received that describes their service.