September 8, 2017
Small message. Big impact. This is in short what elevator pitch is all about.
An elevator pitch is a short sales pitch that you must be able to deliver within the quick span of an elevator ride. Think of a ballpark figure anywhere in between 10 seconds to a minute.
For entrepreneurs, marketing professionals, product marketers or anyone else who wants to win an investor, an elevator pitch is a lifeline.
Since it is delivered verbally and without the support of any presentations or product brochures, you have to deliver it with a panache that will get the listener’s attention.
The end result of an elevator pitch is not always getting a series of funding, but maybe to secure an appointment from where you can take it ahead.
So, an elevator pitch is the starting line, which better be good if you want your business to take off.
There are 5 key components that make up a perfect elevator pitch. Let’s dive in.
What customer problem or pain area are you trying to solve? This forms the crux of your elevator pitch. Distill down your customer problem into definite terms so that your listener can identify it right away.
For instance: Small and medium businesses with Terabytes of data are not able to get the right data quickly.
Here, you have described your target market: small and medium businesses, the exact range of transactions and the challenge faced.
Make sure to abstain from using generic phrases like some companies, the market, large volumes, etc. Be specific and put your finger on the problem.
Your solution must directly confront the customer pain area. You can say in two or three phrases or use bullet points to describe its workflow.
It will somewhat look like: a cloud-based program that crunches real-time data.
The clear solution statement will help the listener understand how you are planning to address the challenge of your target market. As in this example, a cloud-based solution, which means it can work anywhere, on any device and can be easily scaled.
If you are pitching to someone who has industry background, they are sure to be on the same page as you.
The Underserved Market
Every elevator pitch must indicate the target market which it is trying to target. You can give some hints about your target market by talking about the region where it exists, the number of users or the average industry spending.
You must quantify your market which is currently underserved in definite terms. Now, this figure not necessarily be something which is accurate. The point is to make the listener get an idea of big a market your product/service is trying to tap into.
For instance, there are one million plus small businesses in America that use outdated software for data analysis.
This quantification of the marketize helps the investor size your present and future business potential. It also makes it easy for them to make a quick math of how much returns their investment can fetch, if at all they decide to invest.
Sean Rosensteel in his Forbes article says that, “By leading with results first and industry specifics last, we can hold their attention and earn the time to explain what we do in a unique way.”
You will need to give some indication that you have already assessed the competition and addressing the problems in a different way. These are some questions your investor needs to know in an elevator pitch.
- How many competitors are already offering the same or something similar in offerings?
- Is there an existing solution which your business idea plans to make better or improvise on?
- How do you intend to differentiate your product/service from them all?
- How will you ensure customers pick you as a choice than anything else?
Also, be able to help the investor understand the resources you have and how they will impart a unique selling advantage to the target market.
Your revenue model is key to nailing the elevator pitch. No matter how great your product is, end of the day, any investor would want to know how much profits your business can generate.
Be careful not to throw in percentages and make your listener feel confused. It would be better to be more specific and mention some figures in dollars or a specific currency. You can craft the perfect pitch by answering questions like:
- How will your business earn money?
- Is it a freemium, subscription, membership or pay as you use model?
- How will the business channel money collected from customers back into its coffers?
Practice, Practice, Practice
Dwilight Peters recommends testing your pitch several times before going live with the investor honchos. Present your elevator pitch to several people and gather feedback.
Look to your tech community that might even have competitions for the best elevator pitch. Participate in them, gather feedback on your pitch and sculpt the pitch to perfection.
Once you have crafted the perfect elevator pitch, you are literally ready to present it anywhere, not just in an elevator, but, maybe in an informal gathering too. Like Richard Branson says, “Don’t practice your elevator pitch, practice your anywhere pitch.”
Read more about developing the ultimate pitch deck at TechCo
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