Working on your elevator pitch
The elevator pitch is a short, sharp summary of your business that can be effectively delivered between the floors of an elevator. Put it this way you have between floors one and four with your best prospect, alone and uninterrupted in a lift. What do you say that will make him or her want to buy your product or solution and make them want to buy now!

Unfortunately, many people miss the key purpose of the elevator statement: Effective ones are carefully created to be just the right amount of information so that the listener is bound to ask for more. You will know you are on the right track when you get a response that suggests that the listener has had a taste, liked what they heard and want to know more.  If most people just smile and change the subject, your elevator statement needs work.

Working on an elevator pitch may seem like a daunting task but it can be a great exercise in refining your key messages about your business. Here are some practical guidelines that can help the process.

Put yourself in the client's shoes

For an elevator statement to be effective, it must be written from the client's perspective. It must deal with their problems and concerns. Ideally it paints a picture of their ideal future; a picture that includes you helping them reach their goals. This really is a case where it's not all about you.

Pull your office staff, and maybe even some marketing students at your local university (it is great experience for them too) together for a brain storming session. Get some butcher's paper with adhesive on the back (available at places like Officeworks) and some markers and get thinking.  Use sweets or chocolates as motivation and to make it a bit more fun. Remember that no idea is a bad idea and encourage people to think differently.

Once you get a page filled, pull it off and paste it to the wall. Move on to the next page. You might get three or four pages of reasons. Vote on the top three to five key words or phrases that describe what motivates your clients to work with you.

Identify your target market

No successful business can be all things to all people. It is especially important to identify your target audience before crafting your elevator statement because it helps the listener decide if they fit into your target group. Then, try to include your target market in your statement.

Phrase your statement putting benefits first

Remembering that this is about what you can do for your target market phrase your elevator pitch as a benefits first:

"I manage ABC Widgets. We provide ______________, ________________, and ________________, for ________________, so our customers can achieve xy and z."

Commit it to memory

Everyone in your firm needs to memorise your elevator statement. They are all ambassadors for your business and need to be able to have this statement come naturally when they meet a client or a prospect. You should never miss the opportunity for a cost free advertisement and not to mention a pitch for your company.

Test it out on your key stakeholders and your best clients

Let them tell you if it is compelling and motivates them to want to do business with you.

So now that you have your elevator pitch, it's time to get out their and test it. Good luck!

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