Small Business: The art of the elevator pitch

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Learn how to perfect your ’30 second elevator pitch’ with Vital Training expert Mark Robotham.

Q: What is an elevator pitch? Do I need one?

A: Your elevator pitch is your hook. If you’re going fishing you need one, and it needs to be fit for purpose.

Your pitch is the explanation of what you do, who you do it for, how you add value and why people should engage with you, buy your product or become a customer or user.

Everyone needs a pitch and the elevator pitch is the short and punchy version of it. It is named after that opportune moment where you find yourself standing next to your ideal customer/investor/hot date in an elevator and you want to make an impact. The purpose of an elevator pitch is to do just that, and prompt a connection and opportunity for a follow up.

The art of the elevator pitch is to spark a keen interest from that person or group that you get 30 seconds in front of. Make them want more.

Telling them all about the intricate features of your website, or the amazing back story of how your business got started in your garage in suburban Rotorua is a waste of time here. Save it for a captive audience, or when you make the Business Hall of Fame. Your elevator pitch consists of who you are, how you are making your customers love you and why it is totally amazing/extremely profitable/profoundly game-changing.

Being able to deliver a punchy and engaging elevator pitch in 30 seconds is one of the hardest things a business founder will do. But when you do it, and you get a sale or a lead (or a date) every time, you will be well-armed in any situation. Yes, you need one.

At its essence it describes the value you give the customer in a short and succinct message. When delivered it will create interest from potential clients who want to engage with your business to find out more.

More importantly – beyond its use as a promotional tool – it should guide your business strategy and all your activities in your business. Based on the premise if it’s not adding value to your clients why are you doing it?.

Yes you need one, and more than likely you will need a hand in crafting it. Check out our upcoming Vital Training course – Power Pitching your Business with Mark Robotham, small business growth expert www.growth.manangement.co.nz

Article published 20 June 2013.  Fairfax NZ News.