How to Craft a Winning Elevator Speech

July 3, 2013

Small business owners and sales people know the challenge of summing up the benefits of their products or services in just a few words. This concise yet compelling rundown – known as an “elevator speech” – is a key component to a successful marketing strategy. And if your organization has a winning elevator speech, it can pave the road to successful business development.

Why is an elevator speech important?

A compelling elevator speech is your opportunity to introduce and explain your organization in 30 seconds or less. It does more than just “sell” your business, though: it also inspires listeners to care about what you do, and encourages more in-depth conversation – whether at a conference, a business dinner, or actually in an elevator. Given those constraints, your pitch needs to be brief, relevant, and engaging. It should capture your audience’s attention quickly, in a way that’s catchy enough to invite questions or further dialogue – but at the same time, it should also sound genuine, and not like a recording.

Here are a few tips to help you craft a new elevator speech, or test your current one to see if it’s as good as it can be. Start by asking some key questions:

1) Who are you? Start with your name, job title, and affiliation.

2) What do you do? Describe your organization –where, how, and whom you serve.

3) What problems do you help solve? Explain how your audience can benefit from your product or service. How does it meet their needs or resolve their challenges?

4) What’s unique about your organization? Clearly illustrate what sets you apart from the competition. What do you do or offer in a way no one else does, and why should the listener care?

With only two or three sentences to deliver your pitch, it goes without saying that you should choose your words carefully, and tailor them according to your target audience. Remember too, though, that your elevator speech is not about you: it isn’t a mission statement or a job interview. Instead, it should inspire your listeners to learn more about what you can do for them. The purpose of the elevator speech is to get you a second meeting, not a sale.

  • Avoid jargon, acronyms, hyperbole, and slang. Keep your language simple and focused, and accessible to your listener.
  • Be prepared to answer questions (which, hopefully, your speech will prompt).  Research your audience ahead of time as much as you can, and arm yourself with strategic replies.
  • Don’t present a laundry list of products, services, programs, or promotions. If your audience is interested in your field of expertise, they’ll ask you for details or investigate further on their own.
  • Make a good impression through eye contact and a confident but personable tone of voice.

Your elevator speech may seem trivial in the broader spectrum of your marketing plan, but consider that any and all of your employees can potentially act as a marketer for your organization. Preparing a solid elevator pitch will help ensure consistency, confidence, and brand awareness every time your employees have to answer the question, “What does your organization do?”

How good is your elevator speech?  Come join Pulse Marketing Agency for an evening of good food, networking, and prizes next Thursday, February 13! We’ll be hosting the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours from 5-7 PM, right here at 175 Exchange Street! Give us a call at 947-9333 for more information.

 

Submit a comment