Have a Great Opener
You really have fewer than 30 seconds to make an impact on somebody. It’s best to start with a problem that people can understand and then work from there to present the opportunity for a solution that can work in the marketplace. Want an example? Watch an episode of ‘Shark Tank’ and you will see it’s how they open every pitch to the ‘sharks.’ It works and it grabs their attention.
– Andy Karuza, founder at FenSens
Ask Yourself: Why Should They Care?
Many people make the mistake of rattling off all their benefits and features in an elevator pitch. If you make it succinct and include why the other person should care or could find value, you’ve opened the door to a dialogue rather than vomiting information on someone. Consider this format: ‘We help ____ to _____’ or ‘We’re like the ____ of _____, helping people to ______.’
– Darrah Brustein, networking expert
Stop referring to your new startup as ‘revolutionary’ or ‘groundbreaking,’ and check your vocabulary for other trite phrases. Investors, colleagues and stakeholders have heard it all before, and using buzzwords doesn’t make your startup stand out. Leave those terms for the media to assign. Focus on what your startup does and who it serves.
– Kelly Azevedo, founder of ShesGotSystems.com
Identify the Key Pain Point
Solving a pain point is why businesses exist. Identify that key customer pain point that your company tackles, and address it in your elevator pitch to strike an emotional chord with the prospective customer.
– Tim Maliyil, CEO of AlertBoot
Consider the Economics of the Business
Vision matters, but for most people, money matters more. So when people can understand the clear opportunities to generate revenue and drive profits, it all starts to make sense. Wannabe entrepreneurs all have brilliant ideas, but they lack real-world testing and are limited by how the market actually works. Successful business owners know how to turn money into more money.
– Danny Wong, cofounder of BlankLabel
Focus Only on Key Elements
Focus on these key points about your startup: What will your company do? Who is going to want this product or service? What differentiates you from all the companies that already provide this? Or, if it’s something brand new, what indicates a significant demand for this? The challenge is to get in all of the key info without going off on tangents or wasting time on secondary issues.
– Shawn Porat, founder of JudgmentMarketplace and FortuneCookieAdvertising
Have a Clearly Defined Solution
Products are solutions to problems. Without a problem, there is no market. Without a solution, there is no product. An effective elevator pitch clearly expresses the problem and its solution with details of why this particular solution is more effective than alternatives. Use emotion, rhetoric, and cold hard facts, but don’t bury the problem and your solution in buzzwords and jargon.
– Vik Patel, COO of Nexcess
Validate With Actions
Your elevator pitch is far more powerful if you can give a quick soundbite that includes traction, impact and even a few big name customer examples. Also consider sharing some quantitative information to bring third party validation to your pitch, and don’t focus so much on how you do something, rather focus on the outcomes your product or service delivers.
– Lindsay Mullen, cofounder and CEO of ProsperStrat