Marketing Basics: The Elevator Pitch

Your rise to fame…

Picture this. You are at a business conference and during the tea break, you happen to see the CEO of an established start-up at the same counter. You have a great business idea in your mind, and you want to pitch it to her. But you’ve never spoken to her, and you’re doubtful whether she’d be interested. You somehow gather the courage and walk up to her. You greet her with butterflies in your stomach, and tell her how inspiring she is. Next, you turn blank and say “It was really nice meeting you.” 

If you were prepared and confident enough to put forth your idea, perhaps she would have scheduled a meeting – is what you realise later. 

Situations like these are where an “elevator pitch” comes in handy. Also known as an elevator speech or an elevator statement, an elevator pitch is “a brief, compelling speech used to spark interest in an idea, project, or product/service”. This formula can be applied for  introducing yourself or for landing a job too. But, we’ll be discussing the company/startup version here. 

Crafting an Elevator Pitch

As the name suggests, an elevator pitch must be delivered comfortably within 30 seconds, the average time taken to complete an elevator ride. Your pitch must be exciting such that it makes you smile naturally. Even if people don’t remember what you have said, they will surely remember your enthusiasm. 

Let’s go through the requirements of preparing a great elevator pitch:

  1. Identify your goal and target audience

Do you want to showcase your company to a potential client? Do you want to pitch a fantastic idea to your manager? Or do you want to simply explain what your profession is? Be clear with your objective and set your pitch accordingly. 

  1. Describe what you do

Explain about your organization and your role. Share some problems that you have solved and how you have helped people. Adding information or statistics on what you have done is valuable.

  1. Portray your USP (unique selling proposition)

You need to showcase the uniqueness of your company/idea by telling how you are different from your competitors. 

Here’s an example: “We cater to the specific needs of the organization by visiting them each time. Although this novel approach involves a lot of time, we have found that, on average, 95 percent of our clients are pleased with the first beta version of their app.”

  1. Interact with your audience

After communicating your USP, ask a question relevant to the goal of your elevator pitch, like “So, how do you manage training the freshers in your organization?”

“So, how does your organization handle the training of new people?”

  1. Give a CTA 

It is important to end your pitch by providing your lead with a call to action, such as a business card. Let them know that you want them to take this further, so that they can follow up and schedule a meeting. 

  1. Set it all together

Once you’re done creating all the five parts, assemble it like a story. Read it aloud and track the time taken. Make it snappy and captivating. Here’s how it could go…

“Hi, I’m Sampath Narayan, a virtual assistant who guides busy start-ups to effectively manage their workload. Last year, my clients gained profits in six-figures. So is there any business activity which you dislike doing the most?……….Here’s my card. Hope to meet you soon!”

  1. Practice makes perfect

The way you say it is as important as what you say. Don’t make it too fast, and make sure you don’t forget anything. Keep it smooth and natural, with the right body language. Practice your pitch everyday in front of a mirror; you never know when and where you might bump into a potential individual. As you get a hold of it, you could vary a bit – don’t make it sound too formulaic or pre-prepared. 

Hope these tips help you! We wish you all the best in turning your lead into a prospect 🙂 


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