The elevator pitch! A phrase that’s bandied around all over the place, but something that a lot of small (and not so small) business owners fail to ever nail down properly. In a nutshell, an elevator pitch should be just a few words – and preferably only a single sentence – that sums up your business and what it can do for potential customers.
And that’s often easier said than done!
Sure – we can all rattle on at length about what our business offers, but let’s be honest here, most people tune out after the first ten seconds. If you don’t hook them in that first sentence, you’ve pretty much lost them forever. And it’s that very reason that it’s so vitally important for every single small business person to have a killer answer to that very common question – “So what does your business do?”
For example, look at the following two quotes. This first one is from a junk collector in the USA – a business that doesn’t exactly fill you with enthusiasm when you hear what they do. But when you see that their description of the business is as follows, it suddenly becomes a whole lot more interesting:
“Uncluttering People’s Lives”
Neat, don’t you think?
And what about the Australian brewery whose slogan is the following:
“We Make the World More Social”
Pretty cool, huh? And certainly hits the spot far more than just saying that they brew beer. Mind you, the beer hits the spot as well… But we digress.
You see, this ‘elevator pitch’ is all about thinking outside the box and coming at your product from a unique angle. And once you’ve done that you need to come up with a succinct and compelling one-liner that’ll have your audience saying “tell me more.”
And one of the best ways of coming up with what is essentially your business USP (unique selling point), is to first understand exactly what it is that your target audience requires. Once you can get into their mindset and discover exactly what solutions your business can provide them with, you’re half way to nailing your elevator pitch. That too can take some doing, and is something that the savvy small business owner will think long and hard about. And remember, catering for your customers’ needs is an ever evolving issue. So don’t ever think you’ve found your niche and that’s it – success comes from adapting, tweaking and constantly perfecting what you’ve got.
So get working on that elevator pitch. And once you’ve got it, repeat it over and over to yourself until it’s etched inside your mind. Because you never know when you’re going to get that once in a lifetime chance to make an impression.