You’ve probably been told at some point that you need an elevator pitch—that one perfect sentence or two that sums up your business with just the right pizazz. Most people will tell you your pitch needs to perfectly sum up your business and what it does. But that kind of thinking can best be summed up by the great General Ackbar:
“It’s a Trap!”
Think about it. Is your business so simplistic that it can be perfectly captured with one or two sentences? Maybe, if you make one thing, like a nine-inch nail. “I make nine-inch nails works great.” But, even so, your pitch isn’t meant to sell your nine inch nails right there in the elevator. In the history of the world nothing has ever been purchased because of an elevator pitch. The goal is to capture people’s interest and imagination. You want to ignite their curiosity so that they want to explore and learn more about your company or product.
Grab the listeners’ interest and lock them in for the sell. Set off a spark of inquiry. Craft those two sentences so that they ask some follow up questions. Then the elevator pitch turns into a conversation that lasts long after the elevator doors have closed.
And then work on more than one pitch. Create different descriptions that work with different verticals. If you are talking to a manufacturer you might want a slightly different pitch than one you would have ready for a retailer. To a manufacturer your pitch should highlight how they could improve the manufacturing process, while a retail pitch should highlight how easy the product would be to sell. The goal, as in all marketing, is to steer the conversation in the direction that drives your business forward.
Take the time to work on your pitches. Don’t worry if they come out a little clunky at first—it takes patience and determination. But it’s worth it—craft and hone your sentences until you can practically hear the other person say, “tell me more!”