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PD Certification

The Elevator Pitch – Why should I invest in you?

if you cannot sum up your entire brand in one Tweet, it’s too long.

When we meet someone for the first time one of the first questions most people ask is “what do you do?”.

Guess what the mostly used answer is: we usually answer with our job title because we think that telling them what we do might take some minutes.

But let’s stop thinking a moment about how many persons have our same job title…
We became a commodity in the very moment in which we decided to tell them just our job title.

We do need to be able to stand out from the crowd creating the perfect elevator pitch because everyone can be on the same page selling the same message.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

elevator-pitch_redAn elevator pitch, elevator speech or elevator statement is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a process, product, service, organization, or event and its value proposition.

The name ‘elevator pitch’ reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes.

The term itself comes from a scenario of an accidental meeting with someone important in the elevator. If the conversation inside the elevator in those few seconds is interesting and value adding, the conversation will either continue after the elevator ride, or end in exchange of business cards or a scheduled meeting.

Why should we use it?

We should create and use an elevator pitch for capturing the attention of an important person such as an Investor letting him know the problems we’re able to solve and our unique selling proposition.

There are just six questions our “Elevator Pitch” must answer.

  1. What is our product or service? Briefly describe what it is you sell – no details
  2. Who is our market? Briefly discuss who we are selling the product or service to. – Industry and size of the market but no further details
  3. What is our revenue model? How do we expect to make money?
  4. Who is behind the company? “Bet on the jockey, not the horse” is a familiar saying among Investors.
  5. Who is your competition? Briefly discuss who they are and what they have accomplished.
  6. What is your competitive advantage? We need to effectively communicate how our company is different and why we have an advantage over the competition.


What’s about the content of the elevator pitch?

If someone during a ride in the lift asks you something about yourself or state something interesting about your job, what will be your reaction?

    • Let’s start our pitch with a “hook”; we have to get the attention of our Investor.
    • Our pitch should be long not more than 225 words and not less than 150 words; in other words we shouldn’t talk more than 60 seconds.
    • We should convey energy and dedication for our job; in other words our pitch must convey “passion”.

We of course expect to continue our conversation at the end of our ride in the elevator, don’t we?

  • To get such a result, we should end our pitch with a request; either we want a business card or an appointment for a full presentation, we shouldn’t forget to ask for it.

Advice: the purpose

Before starting on our elevator pitch let’s think at the purpose of our elevator pitch. What are we going to get with our elevator pitch? Are we going to promote a new product or service? Or are we going to propose ourselves as the experts that our Investor needs?

Advice: identify the needs

We have to educate ourselves for identifying the problems we can solve for our clients; I know that now you’re thinking “what? I’m already aware of the problems of my clients and I solve them every day”.
Let’s remember that we’re trying to sell ourselves – or our products/services – and we have to identify also the problems that our clients don’t know existed in order to point out our unique selling proposition.

Advice: identify the perfect client

In our elevator pitch we should be able to identify the types of clients that we can serve best.
Shall we work with clients who have a great attitude, are goal setters or what? Let’s analyze the traits of our perfect client.

Advice: no awards received

What if our perfect client usually invests just in awards winning superstars and we haven’t received any awards yet?
Let’s suppose that we’re doing our job from 10 years without receiving any awards for our really awesome performance.
For our elevator pitch we could say something like “I have been running my job for nearly 10 years now and in that time I have received enthusiastic reviews from many clients and not 1 single complaint”. It’s really similar to an award, isn’t it?

Advice: why does the marketplace need your business now?

It’s a question about timing of course but it’s above all a strategic question; every Investor or Entrepreneur would like to know why he/she has to invest now for our services and we have to convince him/her about the “perfect timing” to invest.

Advice: practice your Elevator Pitch

practiceIf our elevator pitch sounds rehearsed, we won’t probably experiment a great success.
Let’s practice and practice many times before trying to use it with our perfect client; it needs to flow like a normal conversation and it must be kept short in order to create a great impression.