An elevator pitch is an overview of your business you can use for networking purposes and any time you get asked, “What do you do?” It’s called an “elevator” pitch because it should be short enough to deliver during a brief elevator ride.
Nail your elevator pitch and you’ll find yourself having more in-depth conversations about your business. Here are the five questions an elevator pitch should address:
1. Who are you?
Name your business (don’t just say, “I started a business that…”) and place it in a general industry, to give the listener immediate context.
For example: “I founded a software company called Jottful.”
2. Who do you serve?
Outline your target market. This helps your audience understand who is (and who is not) a good customer for you, making it easier for them to send you referrals and connections.
For example: “Jottful serves small businesses. Most of our customers are self-employed or have fewer than five employees.”
3. What problem do you solve for them?
Address both the pain points your customers experience and what you do to alleviate them. Remember to focus on the benefits you deliver your customers, not the features of your offering.
For example: “Our customers all need a website, but hiring an agency (which costs thousands of dollars) is too expensive and doing it themselves is a daunting prospect.”
4. How are you different?
What sets you apart from your competition? Help your listener position your business relative to the competition.
For example: “At Jottful, we not only provide our software, but we actually build the customer’s website on top of that software. We deliver the whole thing as one tidy little package. And once the website is launched, we don’t disappear; we help the customer maintain their website.”
5. What’s the next step?
Choose a call to action that’s relevant for the context.
- Could we arrange a time to chat further?
- Would you like my business card?
- Is there anyone you think I should meet here today?
- Do you know someone who could be a good fit for our product?
- We’re hiring. Are you aware of any great candidates who are looking for a new position?
- Could you introduce me to this person I’ve been wanting to meet?