If you’ve ever watched Shark Tank, you’re familiar with the elevator pitch. Each entrepreneur has only a moment to intrigue and sell the sharks on their product or service. A well polished elevator pitch doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and practice. Today, we’re sharing some helpful tips to get you ready for your next sell.
An elevator pitch can be used to sell a product or service, encourage involvement in a charitable organization, or land that perfect job. A typical pitch is less than a minute. You want to engage your audience immediately.
Why should I listen to you? You need to appear interesting enough to talk to. I’ve taught a pitch class for many years, and I can’t stress enough the importance of that first sentence. It should be short and impactful. I like to call it your Twitter friendly headline. Characters are limited and the more interesting… the better.
How you say it, is just as important. Do you make eye contact? Are you smiling? Do you speak too slow or too fast? I think you get the point. Engagement is key if you want the conversation to go anywhere.
After you’ve intrigued them, you need to get to the ‘why’ quickly. Why are you or your company so great? I know it may feel like bragging, but it only feels that way because you know what you do. This stranger probably has no idea how great you are! They might not now much about your business or success. Don’t be afraid to share.
Tell a Story
Research shows that we remember stories better than a couple of random facts or statements. Stories also have the power to engage us and create an emotional connection. I highly recommend including a story into your pitch. Let me provide an example for a small business.
We take pride in offering excellent customer service. A woman came in several months ago looking for a gift. Her granddaughter recently moved into her own place, and she wanted to get her something special. We unfortunately didn’t have the item she came into the store to purchase. Our sales associate asked her several questions about her granddaughter before showing her some great alternatives. Our associate also offered to wrap the item. That customer was so pleased she returned during the holiday season.
It’s a simple story. You’re more likely to remember that though than me simply telling you this small business has great customer service.
Don’t be afraid to move! Using appropriate hand gestures in moderation can help someone better understand a concept. If your pitch is more like a presentation, move around the space provided. It’s only natural. Movement can also help with nerves.
Ask a Question
As I mentioned above, a pitch is short. You have more to share though…right? End your pitch with a question.
“May I get your contact information to schedule a meeting?”
“Would you like to grab coffee next week?”
“I’d like to invite you to an upcoming seminar, can I get your business card?”
If you are pitching yourself in an interview, I highly recommend using this strategy to give yourself a moment to breathe. You could inquire about a company event or ask for more details regarding the position.
Practice truly makes perfect. How did Steve Jobs become such a great speaker and visionary? Practice! Once you’ve got your pitch on paper, practice it out loud. I also recommend recording yourself practicing your pitch. Don’t be afraid to practice with a loved one or friend. The more you practice, the more natural it will become.
There are two things I want you to remember, if nothing else. First, be interesting enough to speak to. Second, tell a story or provide an example in your sales pitch. Implementing all or just a few of these tips will help your pitch. We’d love to hear your pitch! Post your videos to social media, and be sure to tag @MyRIALawyer and include #pitchperfect. I hope you found these tips helpful. Check back in 2019 for details regarding a workshop.