“So, what do you do?” Whether it’s small talk at a cocktail party, waiting in line for coffee or networking at an industry event – how many times have you been asked this seemingly simple question, only to find it can often be difficult to answer? The reality is, the answer you provide can be short and potentially end the conversation, or it can be a tactical and scripted response, crafted in advance, that will intrigue others. The concept of an elevator pitch often applies to pitching yourself, but it is also a very useful tool for pitching your company.
An elevator pitch for your business is more than just sharing what you do. It is a short but informative speech intended to trigger interest in your company to potential clients. It is not solely focused on your profession; your words should spark interest without being too “salesy.” The goal is to lay groundwork that promotes continued conversation around your products and/or services, not to start selling right off the bat.
What does this elevator pitch look like in real life?
Instead of saying, “I’m an Account Executive at a Marketing Agency,” try this:
“Many solid organizations are missing out on growth opportunities due to scarcity of time, expertise and resources. I work for a marketing agency that partners with business leaders to create and execute tailored strategies that increase visibility, win opportunities and demonstrate ROI. As businesses expand and evolve, we’re the behind-the-scenes support they call in to get to the next level.”
Why it works
As marketing is not a revenue-generating department, it is important to demonstrate the value that marketing provides in supporting the revenue-drivers within a company.
Explaining the value behind your company and connecting that value to your profession can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses of any size. There are plenty of companies that “do what you do,” but strategically crafting a business elevator pitch can be used to distinguish yourself from the competition by painting a picture of how you do it, and why it matters.
- Brevity for the win: A good elevator pitch should be brief enough to recite during a 30 second elevator ride. To successfully get your points across, make sure your pitch is not too short or too intensive.
- Dangle a carrot: Once you have introduced yourself, succinctly describe what your company does in a way that might prompt follow-up questions. The goal is to peak interest in your business!
- Differentiate: Don’t forget to include the value your company can provide to a potential customer. What sets you apart from the competition? Why would a potential client choose to work with you?
- Practice makes natural: Finally, practice reading your speech out loud. Sounding comfortable and confident will keep the tone conversational and promote continued questions and dialogue from your audience.
Creating a business elevator pitch in advance of networking and sharing across employees ensures that your company is fully prepared to demonstrate value. Your pitch should not be used in initial emails or phone calls, but only when prompted by others to keep the conversation moving. Even if your current audience is not a good match, they might know someone that is.