Have you ever heard of an elevator pitch? It has nothing to do with the lovely music wafting through the speakers as you ride to the top floor. Instead, it’s all about pitching yourself or your business in those moment-in-time meetings you find yourself surprised by.

Imagine this: You are riding the subway and bump into that client you have been aching to land. They appear open to conversation after you say hello. Now what? You find yourself stammering and trying desperately to come up with a pitch on the spot. Because you can’t think that quickly on your feet and under the pressure you are feeling, you blow it. Could it happen? Of course! It happens every day, but it doesn’t have to.

An elevator speech or elevator pitch is that conversation (on your side at least) that you have ready to go. Whether you are at a networking event, on the subway or find yourself riding to the top floor on an elevator with a CEO, you will be ready with a fantastic pitch. It’s a quick bit of talking that allows you to succinctly get your point across in the short amount of time you have. When you perfect and practice the pitch, you won’t waste time scrambling for something to say and missing your opportunity. Here are a few tips for perfecting your elevator pitch.

1. Make a List

Your first step is to grab a piece of notebook paper or open a doc on your computer. Number it from one to 10. Start filling in information. You have time to think, so do it! Imagine any of the above scenarios and decide what you believe would be the most important things to tell someone. What information is it that you want to convey about yourself, your company or your service or product.

Here are some thinking points: What do you do? What are your goals? What have you already achieved? Who do you serve and why? You want your pitch to be interesting. You don’t need to tell someone your entire life story, and you don’t need to tell a potential client that you are open from 9 to 5. Keep your pitch interesting. Your goal is to stand out and leave the person you are speaking to feel as though they want to talk to you again.

2. Edit it

Once you’ve gotten your list together, take a different colored pen and start scratching things out.This is the editing process of crafting your pitch. You may even find it helpful to have someone else look at it for you and give it a slash with their own pen. It can be more difficult to talk about ourselves than it is for friends and family to sing our praises. Sitting down with someone who knows you well can help you create the perfect pitch.

3. Write It On Cards

Notecards aren’t old-school, they are a great way to organize your thoughts. Take five cards and label them:

  • Who Am I?
  • What Do I Do?
  • How Do I Do It?
  • Why Do I Do It?
  • Who Do I Do It For?

Answering these questions will help you know what you should be telling people.

Once you’ve answered these questions, decide which are the most important and organize them in order.

4. Get Their Attention

Think of an interesting fact in which you can open your pitch. Your want to hook someone and get them to listen to what you have to say.

5. Practice

Practice your speech every time you get a chance.

6. Record It

Once you’ve practiced your pitch, record it so you can hear it yourself. Listen to the way you sound. You shouldn’t sound like a robot or as someone even you wouldn’t want to talk to. Your pitch should sound friendly and engaging. Listen to what you’re saying and make sure you are giving someone the right message.

7. Ride, Ride, Ride

Take the same route to work or school that you normally do. Take the elevator to the highest floor in the tallest building you can find and practice your pitch. Ultimately, your goal is to say what you have to say in three floors or less. By practicing and perfecting your elevator pitch, you will be able to hone your speech and cut it down to the most important facts.

8. Make a New One

Once you’ve perfected your pitch, make a new one. Now that you’ve had practice, it should be easier. We aren’t telling you to scrap your first pitch, but that it may not be suitable for all situations. For example, if you are trying to get a job in a certain sector or trying to land a client from a certain demographic, you may need a different pitch. Having a couple ready will ensure that you can talk to the right people in the right way.

The world that we live in is a competitive one. If you aren’t ready to step out and ahead of your competition, you will sink into the background. When you started your business, it was because you wanted to be a success. Landing the right clients is going to help you get there. With the right elevator pitch, you are sure to stand out from your competitors.

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As a small business owner, you have so many tasks and obligations on your plate that stopping to work on perfecting your elevator pitch can seem like an unrealistic idea. Company.com can take some of those tasks off your plate. We offer a variety of services, such as payment processing and tech support, so you can focus on growing your business. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you thrive, or to start a free trial of our premium software package.