If you have ever been to a networking group, you were probably asked to stand and give your “elevator pitch” to the group. Members are trained in how to present who they are, what they do, and the benefits of their product or service in 30 seconds or less, or the time it would take to travel in an elevator from floor to floor (which is why it’s called an elevator pitch).
Even if you don’t network, you will constantly be asked, “So, what do you do?” It will happen at family gatherings, parties, social events…pretty much anyplace people gather.
Therefore, you need to be prepared with an elevator speech. It doesn’t have to be canned, but it does need to outline the basics that not only tell what you do, but inspire the listener to ask more. Here are some simply steps to developing your perfect pitch.
Keep it short
People don’t want a long drawn-out explanation of what you do. Very often, they’re just asking to be polite. Keep your introduction to no more than 3 sentences, then ask a question to engage the other party. If you do all the talking, you will lose your audience.
Hone your USP
What makes you unique? What are you known for? This is your unique selling proposition or USP and it will be the point people remember. Be sure to include it in your introduction. For example, TOMS Shoes is known for giving a new pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair that is purchased.
Here is your chance to wow your audience with some incredible fact or story about your industry. Something they didn’t or wouldn’t necessarily know, like a statistic or a result one of your your clients received for example. “Did you know that aapproximately 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne?”
Engage them with a question
Ask them if they’ve ever experienced a specific or common problem that relates to your industry. “Does your cell phone ever cut out when you’re driving in the country?”
Avoid buzzwords or industry jargon
Talk to a person not at them. Use regular words and not specific industry jargon that could make them feel stupid or intimidated. You’re there to create conversation, not impress them.
Know your business
When more questions come, know the answers, both about your own business and your industry. Keep up with news and current events that relate to your business; they are great conversation starters.
Set a follow up
If the person you’re speaking with expresses interest in your business, set a follow-up action and stick to it. “Great, I’ll call you tomorrow to set an appointment.” Better yet: “Pull out your phone and let’s get a meeting on the calendar right now.” If someone tells you they want to introduce you to someone else, follow up immediately…either the same day or the next. The longer you wait, the less likely the appointment will pan out.
If you need help defining your USP or honing your elevator pitch, please contact All the Buzz.