Every person and every organization should have an elevator pitch (EP). We have all heard of the elevator pitch–the short, succinct, less-than-60-second explanation of an organization’s who, what, when, where and why.
In my opinion, from a marketing perspective, the “why” of an elevator pitch is the most important. It communicates why someone should hire you, buy from you, or use your services above anyone else’s. An EP is also about personality or corporate culture. It reflects how your company expresses itself, which in turn influences how you connect with prospective clients or others you want to engage with.
A favorite blog of mine comes from Jaffe Pr. In his post, “6 tips to a great elevator pitch,” Jaffe’s VP of Public Relations Carlos Arcos offers several very helpful tips to use as a guideline when crafting a great elevator pitch that every staff person in your organization can quickly, easily, and authentically communicate.
Your EP should not come across as a sales pitch but at the same time it needs to be passionate and clearly communicate what sets your or your organization apart.
Help staff create a perfect elevator pitch
Create and share your EP with your staff, but more importantly, help them develop the ability to let the EP fit naturally and strategically into a conversation, and to reflect the interests and needs of the person they are communicating with. Here are a few tips to pass on to your staff to get them thinking about how to use your company’s EP when engaged in conversations with others:
- Start with polite conversation. Think about the reason you want to convey your elevator pitch to the person. Are they a potential client? A referral source? A potential partner on something?
- Ask key, probing questions to get more information about the person’s needs and interests before you launch into your EP.
- Really listen to the person’s answers. What type of language do they use–formal, informal, slang? Do they talk fast or slow? Did the answers reveal any information about who they are or what need they have that you can address or issues you can help them resolve?
- Consider how you might need to customize your EP to speak to the specific needs of the person you are communicating with.
- Before you leave the conversation, confirm a follow-up. Suggest a follow-up phone call, coffee date, or connection on Linkedin.
- Above all, always use polite, respectful language and manners.
With all that in mind, now the hard work starts. Jaffe’s six steps are useful guidelines, but getting a really good elevator pitch crafted can be really challenging. Take the time and effort to do one for your organization, and if it is a struggle, then spend a few dollars and hire a PR firm or other resource to help you develop the pitch-perfect perfect pitch.
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