An elevator pitch or an elevator speech is a simple and concise way to introduce people to your business. In my last post, how to get customers to choose you, we discovered what set your business apart from its competitors. Now we’ll find out how to communicate that difference to customers.

It is important to be able to do this well. Imagine you are a real estate agent. You meet someone and they ask what you do, and you say “I’m a real estate agent.” That will mean different things to different people. They might think you help people find homes, commercial properties, are a leasing agent, or a relocation expert. Worse yet, the prospect might have just had a bad experience with a real estate agent and now they think of you that way.

Instead of saying I do this or that using a job title, why not tell them the benefits someone like you brings to your customers?

The elevator pitch really has nothing to do with elevators and everything to do with quickly telling someone what you do and why you are the go to person. It is a very short conversation, usually less than a minute, that clearly communicates this information.

Look back at the paragraph I had you write in my last post. Take that rough one paragraph narrative about your business and why potential customers should choose you and use it as your starting point. You will clean it up now and make it into an elevator pitch.

The elevator pitch should contain the following information:

  • One sentence on what your company does.
  • How you help your customers. This is a list of benefits from the customer’s perspective.
  • One or two key ways that you are better than your competition. Why the customer should do business with you.

I recommend that as you write this out you aim for about 140 words. This is generally a good length and forces you to be concise. The goal is not to be able to recite this word for word, but to use it as an outline in your head when having conversations with others. It can also be used on your website to quickly tell visitors what you are about.

Here are some other ideas to keep in mind as you put this together:

  • Focus on benefits to the customer not simply a list of what you do.
  • No jargon or special terminology, write and speak so the customer understands you.
  • Be conversational and friendly in your writing and talking. No one likes boring.
  • Always end with a question or call to action. You want to engage the customer, not be a walking billboard.

In the end you are helping them to understand the benefits your customers get. Even if they aren’t in the market for your product or service, they will remember what you said. Benefits stick inside our heads. When they are ready for what you do or know someone who is, they’ll likely do business with you.

It doesn’t take long to get this done. Get started today!


by Steven Schlagel