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How to Perfect an Elevator Pitch for Your Small Business

Most entrepreneurs can talk all day about their business. But, sometimes, you only have 30 seconds.

You’re often so close to your business that you can’t step back and describe it in broad strokes for a quick elevator speech. This can cost you countless networking and investing opportunities.

The act of boiling things down to their basics is actually a very helpful step in defining your brand.

With that being said, here are a few quick tips on perfecting your elevator speech.

Define Exactly Who You Are

A lot of business owners find this part torturous. They feel that what they offer is so much more than an energy drink or software. But, you need to use the words that will convey what you are as clearly and quickly as possible to your audience.

People will quickly tune out if you use corporate speak or jargon. So if you’re basically software, call it software, not a “comprehensive suite of management tools.”

State Your Value

If you feel like you undersold your company in the previous step, now is the time for you to balance the scale and hype it up. Now, state your competitive advantage and your main differentiator from your competition.

This is where you can state, “Most of the people in our space build the software first and then the app as an afterthought. We’re mobile-first.”

The first question they will ask inside their heads is, “What makes this better than (insert your competition or the industry leader)?” Make sure you state that early and earnestly.

Tell the Story

Stories resonate with people. When properly delivered, this could be the part that sticks with the listener.

Your story is probably unique. It could be, “I was fired from a start-up, so I wanted to show them how to actually build X without doing Y.” Or it may be something like, “My son has severe food allergies, so I had to find and make unique recipes for him.”

You don’t have time to give them the extended director’s cut of the story, but give them enough to make an emotional connection.

Define the “Ask”

This part of the speech will likely change depending on who you’re presenting to. Yes, you need more than one speech, sorry.

If you’re talking to a would-be customer, you will talk about your free trial or free assessment. Or you will talk about which of your solutions could help them.

However, if you’re looking for investors, you’re not going to sell them in 30 seconds. You may get their interest, but you’re not going to get their money just yet. Invite them to tour your office and try to sit them down for a proper presentation.

You should be able to tell how well you delivered your speech based on the questions you get after you’re done. If they ask engaged follow-up questions, you have their interest. However, if they ask questions about the points you’ve already covered, you need to tighten up your speech.

If there are no questions at all, this person is not interested at all. They’re either not your target market, or you need to re-think your speech.