Image by: robinsonsmay
By Charles Lewis
Hey budding entrepreneurs with a hot new business plan burning a hole inside of your briefcase, it’s time for a drill. Quick, break down your fantastic new business idea to me in under one minute. It’s called the “elevator pitch” and you should be ready to deliver it on cue, at any time.
Not quite there yet? Get busy, hot shot. That big break may only come once, you know.
Essential characteristics of a good elevator pitch:
Tells Why Your Product Or Service Is A ‘Must Have’
The best business plans tell a little story about how you have found the perfect, business-smart solution to a problem. Butr you need to be more concise than that. You need to quickly let it be known there is a problem out there and, by gosh, you have found the solution for it. A profitable, winning solution. But be positive along the way – negativity won’t get you anywhere.
“Avoid sounding like a solution in search of a problem, says business strategist Geri Stengel, president of Stengel Solutions. “Explain how your unique solution fills a “must have” need. If you aren’t solving a problem or filling a need, you’re in for a tough sell.”
You spend hours coming up with it, so now is the time to use that gotcha phrase that so wowed you and your friends a few weeks back. Your phrase should be memorable, but not obscene. Succinct, but tells the entire story. It needs to sum up what your business solution is all about.
And the golden phrase is …
Practice Man, Practice
Practice man, practice. It’s how you get to Carnegie Hall, and how you get that potential investor to buy into your business venture. Don’t worry about looking like a dork standing in front of a mirror, practicing your pitch for hours. Keep your eye on the prize, sir. By practicing, you will get over all of that and start to feel more confident and powerful. And that will project to your audience when you give that pitch of a lifetime.
You never know who is going to be in a crowded elevator, conference room or office when you have that opportunity to give your pitch. Get used to the fact that someone in the room will think you are a dork (so you were right). Feed off of that energy and challenge yourself to win them over too. If you can win over the least interested person in the room, think of what the effect of your pitch will be like on someone who is paying attention.
You can also ask questions of the person you are pitching – a well-placed question will engage the listener and help them remember something about your spiel.
Now, the only question is when it comes to your elevator pitch, are you going up … or going down?