An elevator pitch is essentially a concise, focused and well re-hearsed description of your business. It is called an elevator pitch because it should be constructed in such a way that it may be delivered during the average elevator ride, which is around 30 seconds. An elevator pitch is not to be used only on investors or during business plan competitions. It is essentially what you should tell everyone when they ask you, what you do. It is hence critical for every entrepreneur to have a carefully constructed elevator pitch. Here are three things I think are vital in an elevator pitch:
1. Define the problem you plan to solve: Even though you have a very short time frame to give your pitch, it is important to incorporate some background into it. Much of the time I find elevator pitches just rush through the entire process, I hear buzz words like enterprise grade security, scalability and user friendliness, but miss the point about the problem they plan on solving.
2. State a clear value proposition: Avoid buzz words as much as possible in your pitch. Keep your value proposition as concise as possible. As clearly as possible let the prospect know how they would benefit directly from the product/solution, and how it solves the problem.
3. Make it personal: Integrate the word “you” and “your” into the pitch as much as possible. The elevator pitch has to be personalized to avoid it from becoming an abstract concept. There is a tendency to overuse the “we” in pitches, whereas this should be replaced with words that talk more about the prospect.
Develop a set of elevator pitches that can be customized to what the target segment wants to hear, and how your concept applies to them. These three components should however remain standard throughout all your permutations. In order to perfect the elevator pitch, rehearse it well enough to know it like the back of your hand. The slightest hesitation in delivery and pitch can be the defining difference between getting that follow up meeting, or not!