“The purpose of an elevator pitch is to describe a situation or a solution so compelling that the person you’re with wants to hear more even after the elevator ride is over.” – Seth Godin.
You ever wonder how Steve Jobs found Apple, now a multibillion-dollar company? Ok, Google, tell me the answer! Google will give you the answer, his videos, his life story, in a way that gives you the final push to execute your plan to open a business, form a brand, build a company, whatever it is. It could be an entrepreneur, and motivational speaker, content creators, lifestyle guru, literally any individual that inspires you to shatter the glass box that limits you from doing what you love!
But how do you gain success or go ahead and become an entrepreneur? There are several ways to do this, but one of the most popular and traditional methods is an elevator pitch! You heard me; elevator pitches have worked great with successful startups and entrepreneurs. So why not give it a shot?
But before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to go about doing an elevator pitch, let’s get one thing straight. When you connect for the first time with a potential prospect, you should never include your elevator pitch into your email directly or say it the moment they answer the phone! This positively doesn’t work. You will sound like a salesperson then, whose only goal is to sell them your product, which like most people, will make the modern buyer disinterested and perhaps run for the hills.
Whether in the elevator or elsewhere, some people like to chat or often are uncomfortable with the silence and hence strike a conversation with the other person at least till the ride is over. So, when are elevator pitches compelling? When you are talking to a stranger on an elevator, it’s most definitely because questions like “What do you do?” or “Where do you work?” are often asked on elevators.
In such situations, you need to be prepared with a short, snappy, easy-to-grasp explanation of your company and its products and services. The person you’re speaking to could turn out to be the perfect fit, or they could have contact(s) who might be your potential investors.
To begin a professional conversation at any event, interview, or gathering, you gotta introduce yourself; this sets the stage. Do you want to make a practical, jargony introduction? Then elevator pitch is your tool!
First things first,
● What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a quick summary of who you are, what you do, and what you sell. It is a memorable 30-second- or 75-word description. Usually, elevator pitches are assumed to be precise, like about a product, service, or idea. But, another general instance to use for elevator pitches is selling yourself as a professional. The ultimate goal is to keep your conversation so engaging that you earn a second conversation. Not only to convince them to invest in you or your vision, but also to convince them how worthy you are! Remember that an elevator pitch is not only an opportunity to close a deal, but it’s also an opportunity to close more of your prospect’s attention and time. Pull this pitch out at interviews, networking events, calls to connect, conferences, and even career fairs. Ensure to keep your elevator pitch goal-oriented, and always end with a business card or request to connect on LinkedIn.
● When should an elevator pitch be used?
Many people assume that an elevator pitch is only used by salespeople who need to showcase or sell their products and services. That’s not entirely true; you can most definitely use them in other scenarios as well. For instance, you can use this tool to introduce your organization to potential clients or customers. You could use them in your organization to sell your CEO a new idea or to tell them about the change initiative that you’re leading. You can even create one to tell people what you do for a living.
● How do you give a killer elevator pitch?
1. Where’s your introduction bro? Before jumping in excitement or showing your pre-pitch jitters: Approach someone with your pitch with an introduction of yourself.
2. Greet them with a pleasant smile and extend your hand for a handshake while telling them your full name and what is the role you play at your company.
3. Towards the end, add a pleasant sentence. This will help you get the conversation off to a professional and correct start.
4. Provide them with a summation of you
This is the part where you’ll provide them with a summary of who you are basically (background). Of course, you also have to include insights about your education, work experience, skills, and strengths. If you are still confused on what to include, maybe jot down on a piece of paper everything that pops into your mind. Once you have completed it, record it and go through and remove everything that’s not critical to you. You must most definitely have a resume, so highlight all those points that are important. Once you have edited them and you are ready with the vital few points, arrange them in a manner that makes complete sense to understand who you are.
5. A summary of your position
While also rehearsing about yourself, have a crystal-clear idea about what your company does—for instance, your company’s goals and mission for their products. Your pitch should also comprise a section introducing your company. The more you know about your own company or business, the easier it will be for the other person to cater to your pitch. Make sure your first two sentences are simple and effective so that even if you are cut off or asked to pause, the person will be able to know what exactly your company does and who you are.
6. Explain your needs
This step really depends on what your pitch is. The ‘explanation of your needs’ could be considered for an internship, a full-time job opportunity, or just their contact information. This is a golden opportunity for you to propound what value you bring to your company? What does your company do extraordinarily well that sets its services apart from others? Why are you an excellent fit for the job? Or what does your audience gain from your engagement? Write 1-2 statements about it.
7. Conclude your elevator pitch
You should conclude your pitch by giving the conversation an action subject instead of keeping the conversation at a dead end. If you think an elevator pitch is appropriate for a specific situation, begin with the goal of gaining a new perspective or next steps, such as asking for a meeting or expressing interest in a job. Remember, this is the first time you are meeting this person, so keep it simple with minimal requirements on their part. Be sure to thank them for their time and consideration and get their contact details. Here are a few great examples of entrepreneurs with a perfect elevator pitch!
1. Teabox – Kaushal Dugar
A 30-year-old Kaushik Dugar came back home all the way from Singapore to India in 2012. A management graduate left behind a high-profile job at the accounting firm of KPMG in Singapore. He made this move to reunite with his family and join in on the family’s tea business. He came back with a motive and planned to modernize the traditional tea distribution located in the Siliguri district of West Bengal. He set up Teabox’s online portal and decided to raise venture capital to fund it. But what he hadn’t taken into account was the lack of connectivity in the small north-eastern town. There had never been a startup or launch event, and the slow internet connection could not even support a Skype call with potential investors. No one gave in, and so he took this mission up with cold calls on the landlines, and finally, on the eleventh try, he managed to bag Accel Partners – an early global investor. He convinced them to travel to Darjeeling and sample his firm’s flavors of tea. His skill – a national-level debater, guided him to persuade the prospects about his business pitch made via the landline. What grabbed their investor’s attention is the robust revenues, worldwide customers, and even profits.
2. BlueGape – Sahil Baghla Sahil Baghla, an alumnus of IIT-Kanpur, raised around Rs.1.5 crore for his fan merchandise startup BlueGape. He was able to raise such a high amount of money because of his elevator pitch idea via a three-minute YouTube video. His 12 global investors via the phone asked him questions as they could download the PowerPoint. Baghla very brilliantly reached out to investors through a funding portal – LetsVenture. 1. Angel Investor – Vishal Gonda IIT-Bombay’s alumnus, former CEO of Indiagames and Mumbai-based angel investor, encourages startup entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to him over a 10km morning run or walk. At his master alumni event, IIT-Bombay alumnus – Shantanu Jha met Gondal, where several discussions over numerous marathons followed his pitch.
3. OnlinePrasad – Goonjan Mall CEO of OnlinePrasad – Goonjan Mall, pitched a 15-minute idea to K Ganesh. His pitch was exceptionally great, because of which the meet got extended for an hour since it piqued K Ganesh – a serial investor’s interest. He also went ahead and invested Rs. 50 lakhs.
4. Lumos Charity – Gandharv Bakshi At a Nasscom Shark Tank Elevator Pitch event, CEO of Lumos Charity – Gandharv Bakshi pitched Rajan Anandan his unique charity idea. This landed him an instant cheque of Rs 25 lakh. I hope the above elevator pitch steps help you to craft, ideate, and deliver your message!
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