The Elevator Pitch
Heard this term but don’t have a clue what it really means? Well have you ever been in a situation where someone asks you “what do you do?” and you either clam up as your mind goes blank or have to watch them glaze over as you scrabble around to concoct a long winded answer?
In a nutshell, an elevator pitch is what you would say about what your business does if you only had the length of an elevator (or lift) ride to get someone interested. It should be short (about 20-30 seconds), clear and interesting to the listener… in short, you want to illustrate to them why they need you so that they want to find out more.
Nowadays we are probably more familiar with this concept than ever before as we write short descriptions on our Facebook business pages, Linked in profiles and Twitter feeds so that visitors can quickly and easily see what we do and (hopefully) are encouraged to follow us.
As well as being succinct, an elevator pitch should be memorable…
Don’t worry if you can’t think of what you want to say yet, or if you are worried you might leave out something important. It will probably take a few goes until you’re happy with it, and then a while until it sounds natural in conversation. You may also want to have a few options depending on what you want to communicate to a specific person, e.g. are you meeting a potential massage client at an event, or contacting a company to arrange some on-site massage? These will need different pitches.
Here are some key steps to help you create an elevator pitch:
1. What is your primary goal?
What is it you really want to get across to this person?
Is it an engaging answer about what you do for a living? Is it to share a new treatment you offer or some new products you are selling? Is it to the owner of a clinic you wish to rent a room at? Pick a priority and remember that this is just an opener – you don’t have to tell them everything about everything in this initial pitch!
2. Begin by explaining what you do
This is not so much a list of treatments (features of your business) but more about how what you do can help them (benefits of your business). You might say that you do a range of different massage treatments (feature)… so that means that you can tailor the perfect treatment to their needs using a range of approaches if needs be (benefit).
Sometimes a statistic can also be useful, e.g. last year sick days cost UK businesses £29 billion – regular workplace massage could reduce that number by up to 70% some studies show.
Keep in mind what you want the person you are speaking to to remember most about you, and that what you are saying should be exciting! If you don’t really care about what you are saying then they certainly won’t but enthusiasm is infectious and memorable.
3. Tell them why you are different
We’ve all heard of the “USP” or Unique Selling Point. Why are you different to anyone else?
It could be that you hold a higher qualification, that you trained at the best school, that you offer a free consultation, that 90% of your clients rebook etc, but always remember to turn this feature into a benefit to them (use “so this means that”).
4. Get them involved
If you can engage someone in your pitch then you avoid any sense of being lectured at or sold to… and you find yourself having a useful conversation rather than just pitching an idea.
Think of some open-ended questions such as “How does that sound to you?” or “What do you currently do for employee wellbeing?”, “What is your favourite thing about having massages?”
5. Compile and practice!
Put it all together and practice, practice, practice! Time and edit yourself so it’s short and snappy and it’ll become more natural. Keep smiling and keep your body language relaxed too.
It’s also a good idea to have business cards to hand to give them, and your diary to schedule in another chat or meeting (or appointment). Good luck!
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