How To Put Together The Best Elevator Pitch
You could have the best product in the world, but it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t sell or get users. As I mentioned in my other article on How To Get Paying Customers Before Launching Your Product , you have to be out there and let everyone know what you are doing. That is the best way to beat any competitor and to get actual feedbacks. It’s much easier to build a relationship and trust with someone when your talking to them in person rather than over the internet. The biggest problem is how to construct that elevator pitch so that the person you’re talking to will fall in love with your product or service.
So, what exactly is an elevator pitch? An elevator pitch is a short pitch that can be used to quickly and simply define a person or product. In other words a quick introduction that can lead to sales. I was one of those people who struggled with constructing an elevator pitch. Matter of fact, I never knew the importance of it and did not realize how many potential clients I could have gained if I had a powerful elevator pitch.
Here’s an example of my pitch for my cell phone accessory and design site before I knew what an elevator pitch was. I would attend a small business networking event/meetup. As normal, I would approach people and greet them. The typical question occurs, “So, what do you do?” I would say, “uhh..I run a cell phone accessory business”. The typical reply would be like “Ahh ok or hmm..”. More often than not, the person that I was speaking with will walk away and talk to someone else.
Then I tried asking them back, “What do you do?” I remember clearly that one of them replied with, “I run my own sunglasses brand that only manufacturers the highest quality handcrafted sunglasses for an affordable price. We only use natural and handcrafted wood made in Portland Oregon.” Then he takes out one of the glasses and tells me about how great the art work is. Finally he closed the conversation with a website where I could buy it and a brick and motor location. He then handed me a coupon card and said if you buy it today, you can get 10% off.
I was amazed by his quick pitch. The whole process literally did not take anymore than a minute, but it was so perfect and effective. The ending was like a call-to-action button. When I was doing cell phone accessories, I had the chance to meet at least 3 new people everyday in the business field, but they weren’t my customers. I knew I had to construct a good pitch like the sunglasses professional.
1. Make it quick and direct.
As you can see from the sunglasses businessman that his two sentence opening was quick and direct. The two sentence explained exactly what he was doing and what makes him unique or special. Your 2-3 opening lines are the most important lines in an elevator pitch because those are the 2-3 lines that people will be paying attention to. You don’t want the person you are pitching to to be confused with what you really do. If your pitch is difficult for your parents or grandparents to understand, then maybe you should simple it out some more.
Keeping it too simple could be a bad thing as well. Right after that day, I started working on my own pitch, but I barely got anywhere. The next day when I met someone for coffee, the same question occured, “What do you do?” I would reply with something a little better but still ineffective. “I run an online marketplace that sells custom cell phone accessories. They’re great. Would you like to check it out?” That got the conversation going for me, but it wasn’t effective to make your target want to buy it now. The problem was that it was too simple.
2. Bring them on a fun rollercoaster
Not literally a rollercoaster, but my point is to make it entertaining. For example starting your elevator pitch like a robot and ending with a robot tone won’t get you anywhere. What I mean by bringing them on a rollercoaster is to bring them excitement throughout the entire pitch one line after another. So basically, try to make every line more and more entertaining after another.
An example would be how the sunglasses business individual took out a sample right after he was done explaining what type of sunglasses he was selling. Before he took out his sunglasses, I was amazed, but I was not ready to buy until he personally took out a sample and showed me what he was talking about. He led me onto a rollercoaster. Before I could even think, he offered me a card with a discount and created a sense of urgency saying that the deal will end today.
The point is to bring them uphill one line after another so that your potential client will feel excited with you.
3. Ask them a question afterward
What’s better than building a solid relationship with your client? The best way to do that is to keep the conversation going so that you can understand their pain and continue on with telling them about how your product can solve their pain. I usually conclude my elevator pitch with a question. For example, for the cell phone accessory marketplace, I would usually end it with a question asking them what kind of cell phone case are they using now and what do they not enjoy from the case.
Adding a quick question to the end of your elevator pitch only takes 5 seconds, but that 5 second could lead your potential client onto a longer rollercoaster so that you can have more time to define your product. There was no way that I could have told everything about my cell phone designs in a 3-4 line pitch, but if I could put them on a rollercoaster, then I know that I have the ability to reach out to them some more.
4. Write It Down
The best cold callers in the world can make a quick elevator pitch within 1 minute and end it with a question. When I asked them for tips, 4 out of 5 of them would tell me to write down my pitch and recite it at least 500 times before actually making a pitch to someone. I got out of my way and asked the sunglasses guy how many times did he recite his pitch before making his first pitch. He said it was roughly around 500 times and that was including pitches made to his family and friends. He told me that he was reciting the pitch to himself whenever he could even when he was taking a shower.
The best way to do it is to write out your pitch and read it to yourself 100 times. First you have to determine whether or not that pitch will work on yourself. If someone approach you with the exact same pitch, would you be convinced about it? If you see a mistake, then correct it. Maybe you could reword it to make it a little bit more attracting or add some excitement to it.
After you figured out what’s the best pitch and you can convince yourself to believe in your product, recite it again and again. Recite it to the point where it’s natural, to the point where you don’t have to think it’s a pitch. Next try pitching to your family members. Try pitching to your wife, your cousins, uncles, and anybody else. Ask them for feedbacks on how to make your pitch better. After about 500 times, you should be ready to make your first real pitch to any investor or potential client.
5. Be Proud And Confident
Lastly, you have to be proud and confident about what you do. You can’t make an elevator pitch if you aren’t proud of what you do for a living. For example, Chen Ou, CEO and founder of JuMei, top women cosmetic accessory ecommerce site in China, had no problem making his pitches to investors because he was proud that he was selling women’s product. Chen believed that his products would help change millions of women’s life, even though he is a male himself.
A lot of male individual won’t be proud of selling women’s fashion. They’re worried that they will be looked down upon, but Chen was not. He received terrible and stinky feedbacks, but he knew he was proud. The lesson to take away from that is that if you are going to start a business doing something you know will be big, then be proud and confident during your elevator pitch. Chen was able to convince males to purchase products for their family members or girlfriends and you can too.