The elevator pitch, when perfectly crafted, can help set your business apart from the competition. The small business elevator pitch or, elevator speech, is a no-cost marketing tool that can yield tremendous dividends.

“What is it you do?” is often the prompt and gateway for you to recite your elevator pitch. How many times have you been at a business event and suddenly became tongue-tied and twisted?

Your elevator pitch can help you land that new client, forge a business opportunity, or find that next superstar employee.

“Having an interesting and captivating elevator pitch is crucial. It gives you the opportunity to make an impressive first impression,” said Nancy Valent, president of NMV Strategies.

If you don’t have your elevator pitch perfected, now is the perfect time to take a closer look and the message you are giving and the impression you are leaving without one.

The basics for crafting an elevator pitch:

  • Determine what is interesting about your business? Why would anyone care?
  • In your mind, keep three skills or expertise that would be thought-provoking to your clients
  • Decide what you want the elevator pitch to do for you. What is it you want the person to do? Call? Meet? Learn more? Visit?

How long should the elevator pitch be?

Think of your elevator pitch as a 30-second commercial. That may feel like a short time to get your point across. A great pitch begins with your introduction. “Hello. I’m Jane Doe, Vice President of Operations for the Smith Company.

Next, you’ll state a problem that your business solves. “The Smith Company helps mid-sized business find alternative lending and financial solutions when conventional bank lending isn’t an option.”

The next step in crafting your small business elevator pitch is explaining the value proposition. As a result, it helps you communicate what sets you apart from your competition. “We work on results; the client doesn’t pay us until their financing solutions are met.”

Finally, the elevator pitch must include a call to action. “Is there a day this week we can talk further?” or “Let’s chat about some solutions for you. Can I call you Tuesday?”

One elevator pitch or many?

Most importantly, you will also want to vary your elevator pitch. Maybe you include stats, facts, or figures about the problem you solve. Perhaps you embed a brief “this happened to us too” nugget. Or, align an emotion within the statement, for example “Online retailing is difficult. A lot of traffic to the site but few solid leads can become frustrating. ABC has helped over XX businesses increase their online sales by using …”

In other words, crafting an elevator pitch is not a one-size fits all approach.

Final thoughts…

To sum up, you can personalize your elevator pitch to your audience or the industry. This is important, especially when you understand the difference. If you will be at a networking meeting, that will be a slightly different elevator pitch than if you are conducting a sales pitch or attending a formal meeting.

Learn more about crafting your elevator pitch from Nancy Valent on the BizChatOhio podcast or by calling 216-513-8740 or email contacting Nancy for a complimentary discovery meeting.