When was the last time you really took a step back and reviewed your “elevator pitch”? Does it grab someone’s attention? Does it entice them to get them to become interested in your services? Does it clearly communicate what you do professionally? Or are you one of those “just wing it” as you go professionals. Having a clear, concise elevator pitch can be the difference in building your business rapidly and lost opportunities.
Elevator pitches can be used anywhere, not just in an elevator. An insurance agent should be well prepared to take advantage of a random meeting or introduction since you never know if or when the opportunity will happen again. The effectiveness of a well crafted elevator pitch should capture your listeners’ attention quickly, whether you are meeting them on the street, in an elevator, in a networking meeting, or at a social event.
Here are three steps to creating an effective elevator pitch.
1. NEVER wing your pitch. Have you ever met someone that couldn’t seem to get the right words out of their mouth even though they said they were an expert? Or have you ever had someone speak to you but it sounded like they were one of those automated callers we all hate? Have you ever met someone that took them 5 minutes just to tell you what they did? Knowing what you are going to say before you are going to say it will capture and keep your listener’s attention for the short 10-30 seconds you have. Your elevator pitch should not be your selling voice. Remember this time is brief, you have to grab their attention in a way that peaks interest enough to get them to meet with you again.
2. Create a well structured “pitch” and have a couple at your disposal. You need to have a clear, concise, compelling messaging that works with a varied audience and in a variety of environments. Write down you pitch, practice it in the mirror, and then have colleagues and family or friends listen to it. This is a great test to see how they respond. Do they ask questions? Did they seem genuinely interested to know more?
3. Do not talk AT them but talk WITH them. Your elevator pitch should clearly paint the picture as to why they need to do business with you (as opposed to your competitors) and what problem you can solve for them. Remember to be genuine, humble, and focused on them (not you). There is a finesse to communicating why you are the best without sounding cocky or arrogant.