5 Dos and Don’ts for Crafting the Perfect Elevator Pitch

June 4, 2014 Brian Beattie

You’ve got this great idea that you want to pitch to your boss, but scheduling a meeting with them is proving to be a Herculean task.

The potential client you’re trying to woo won’t even give you the time of day, let alone an hour to listen to your presentation.

Sound familiar? Sometimes getting your foot in the door is harder than closing the deal. The elevator pitch is ideal for situations like this.

What’s an Elevator Pitch?

It’s a 1-2 minute conversation, which if done correctly, can lead to a more in depth discussion about your proposal.

There are three elements to an elevator pitch: 1. pain statement, 2. value proposition, and 3. call to action. The pain statement outlines the problem that you are trying to solve, and the value proposition discusses how you or your company is going to fix that problem. Once you’ve outlined the solution, follow it up by discussing the next steps with a call to action.

Want to have a great pitch? Here are 5 dos and don’ts for crafting the perfect elevator pitch:

1. Preparation is Key

This doesn’t just mean rehearsing your pitch. It means knowing who your audience is, anticipating and preparing for any questions they might ask, and tailoring your pitch specifically to their needs.

2. Avoid Generalizations

Try to be as specific as possible in your value proposition. Saying that your company is “customer oriented” or “results focused” does not demonstrate exactly how you are the solution. Drill down how your offering is unique, and why your audience should care.

3. Be Passionate

Show your audience how much passion you have for your solution. Facts and figures help support your argument, but connecting with your audience is what sells them on your offering. Demonstrate your commitment by maintaining eye contact, inflecting your voice on key points, and projecting confidence.

4. Keep it Simple

It’s important that your audience understands what you are saying. Now is not the time to use very precise technical language – save that for the big presentation!

5. Clearly State Next Steps

Let your goals be made known - what’s the point of going through the whole pitch if you don’t clearly state how you want to proceed in the call to action? Let your audience know specifically what it is that you want from them before you finish speaking.

Finally, practicing your pitch is just as important as creating it. You want to appear natural, because there is nothing worse than a canned presentation. Also, don’t be afraid to seek feedback about your pitch. A pitch is organic, it can always be improved and refined.

Your Turn

Have you ever tried using an elevator pitch? Was it successful? Let us know in the comments below, and share via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

About the Author

Brian Beattie

Brian Beattie is the Chief Financial Officer at Volaris Group. Besides overseeing the financial health of the company, he works closely with Volaris’ legal and M&A team on all new acquisitions. Brian is an expert on every stage of the M&A process – from sending out the non-disclosure agreement to executing the sales purchase agreement.

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