How to Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
Whether you’re meeting with clients or attempting to build partnerships with providers, it’s important for you to develop a 30-second or less elevator pitch on who you are, what you do, and why the person you’re speaking with should be interested. It’s hard to fit everything you do into that short of a time frame, but if you speak longer than that you’ll lose people’s attention.
It’s called an “elevator pitch” because of this scenario: you walk into an elevator, and someone is already there. They say, “Hi, what do you do?” You only have a few seconds before the person reaches their floor and has to decide whether or not to hand you their business card. Treat your introductions as though you are in an elevator and are going to lose the person’s attention in just 30 seconds.
Start with a list
Take out a notebook and pen. Write down between ten and fifteen different things that you do every day. Your list can include everything from driving to appointments to closing sales. Then, circle the items that you find most important. You should be left with anywhere from three to six items. For a typical salesman, this may include items like “put together marketing materials,” and “speak to clients.”
Answer the “5 ‘W’s”
Below your list, write down the answers to the following questions: Who are you? What do you do? Why do you do it? Where do you do it? When do you do it?
Turn it into a sentence form
Take your shortened list and your Q&A and turn them into a small speech. For example, using the person from the previous example, your pitch might read “I’m a Medicare agent in Nashville. Every day, I visit beneficiaries who need help with healthcare. I hand them brochures and go over the information with them, then help them select the best health plan for their needs.”
Add an attention-grabber
Add something to your pitch that really makes people want to listen. Using our previous example, we might add and change, “I’m a Medicare agent in Nashville. As you probably know, Medicare is confusing. So, every day, I visit beneficiaries who need help with healthcare. I hand them brochures and go over the information with them, then help them select the best health plan for their needs.” The person you’re speaking with will likely relate to the idea of Medicare being confusing. Adding a touch of humor or something relatable can really grab your listener’s attention.
Practice your pitch
Repeat your new pitch to yourself a few times. It will help you memorize it and feel more comfortable. If you aren’t sure about it, record it on your phone and play it back. Make sure you sound confident in what you’re saying.