You step into the elevator and just before the doors close a voice says “Wait!” The doors spring open and your idol gets in. It’s just the two of you. “Hi,” they say, “I”m ___. What’s your name?”
You now have a 30 second elevator ride alone with them. Now’s your chance. Explain to them who you are and what you do before it’s too late and the doors open. Go.
Your elevator pitch is a summary of what your business is about. It should explain to someone you’ve never met exactly what you do and what problem you solve. If you had to condense your business plan into the length of a tweet, this would be it.
Your elevator pitch should answer these questions:
- Who you are and what your job is within the company
- What the company does or sells
- What problem it solves
- Who it’s for
- What is unique about your company?
- Why do you do what you do? What does your company believe in?
Your elevator pitch should NOT include:
- Industry jargon or acronyms. Remember, the person you’re talking to isn’t in the industry and doesn’t know what those terms mean.
- Vague phrases. You need to keep it short and to the point. Phrases that don’t explain clearly what you’re trying to say have no place here.
- Too much detail. Keep it concise.
- Subjective terms like “the best” or “really good”
Let's have a look at this example and see how we can improve it.
“Hi, I'm _____ and I run an online store that sells really cute gold plated jewellery that costs between £10 and £25 for a ring and around £35 for a necklace. We sell on our website and also on Etsy as well. Our products come in beautiful little boxes with our logo on. Some of the other gold plated jewellery brands are really overpriced and ours is really affordable. ”
Why it needs work:
- Too much detail and specifics eg. exact prices
- Subjective terms like “really cute”
- Where they sell not relevant at this point
- Knocking competition instead of demonstrating what’s unique about their brand
- Packaging isn’t relevant to what the company is about
- Doesn’t explain what is different about the brand other than price
- Doesn’t explain what problem they are solving
- Doesn’t explain who they make products for
- Doesn’t mention the name of the company at all
- Doesn’t explain what the company believes in
“You know how cheap jewellery turns your fingers green? I run an online store called _____. We design gold plated jewellery for people who want the quality of solid gold but at a much more affordable price point. I’m a designer and I create new trend-led pieces every single month so our customers can switch up their jewellery without breaking the bank.”
Why it’s better:
- Mentions problem and the solution they offer
- Explains who it’s for and who can benefits
- Gives an idea of what the brand is about - fashionable and affordable jewellery that won’t turn your fingers green
- Explains the purpose of the brand - Customers can afford to buy a selection of jewellery and switch up their style without spending hundreds on real gold.
“You know those ready meals that are really cheap and convenient? They’re great for people who are busy or live alone but they’re really bad for you and full of all kinds of horrible stuff. On the other hand, healthy food can be so expensive and hard to prepare. I founded a company called ____. We believe that healthy food shouldn’t just be for those who can afford to spend more, it should be an option for everyone. We make ready meals that are as delicious as they are good for you. They come in packets that you can microwave in under 3 mins and taste like something your nonna used to make. You can even subscribe so you don’t need to worry about your grocery shopping - we’ll take care of that.”
"You know how frustrating is it when you feel like you never have anything to wear even when your closet is full of clothes? I couldn't stand it so I created Styling4U. We provide personal shopping services so that busy women can let someone else do the hard work. With our services you can open your wardrobe and find clothes you love that actually fit you without spending hours shopping, leaving you with more time to spend on the truly important things."
1. You know [PROBLEM]? Well, we [WHAT YOU DO/SELL] to [HOW YOU SOLVE THE PROBLEM] for [TARGET CUSTOMER].
2. The problem with [COMPETITORS IN INDUSTRY] is that they [WEAKNESS]. We offer customers [SOLUTION TO THEIR PROBLEM] with [YOUR STRENGTH] so they can [OUTCOME OF USING YOUR PRODUCT].
3. You know how frustrating it is when [PROBLEM]? I couldn't stand it so I created [COMPANY NAME]. We sell/provide [PRODUCT OR SERVICE] so that [TARGET CUSTOMER] wouldn't have to [PROBLEM] any more! It means you can [SOMETHING CUSTOMER WANTS] without [SOMETHING CUSTOMER HATES] which leaves you with more time to [SOMETHING CUSTOMER LOVES].