You might think elevator pitches are cliche ⌐ and without real substance, but successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists frequently talk about the importance of these short “presentations”. As an entrepreneur, you need to have the ability to quickly and concisely describe your business and why it will succeed. Learn your elevator pitch, practice it repeatedly, and keep it shorter than two minutes. The opportunity to deliver it could arise on a moment’s notice. A tremendous number of business deals are concluded outside the office. Follow these tips to be ready when it’s time to deliver your elevator pitch:
Your intention is to clearly, quickly and concisely describe precisely what your company sells, whether it’s a product or service. What makes your product or service valuable, and who is willing to buy? This isn’t the time to describe any technical details in fact, doing that might backfire. Instead, concentrate on results and how your product or service provides value to your customers.
Don’t hesitate to acknowledge your competitors and comparable companies. Every company has competition, and if you say you don’t you’ll lose credibility as soon as the words are out of your mouth. Remember, your company is somehow different from your competitors (you have problems if it isn’t). Competition can be a signal that other companies (and venture capitalists) believe your industry holds promise.
But, after you mention your competitors, you need to make a convincing argument that your company is better and can win the competition. This entails understanding your company’s competitive advantages and identifying them to your listener. These competitive advantages often gain the attention of investors.
Finally, specify the unmet need in your market that your company will fulfill. You want the investor to remember this point, so describe it at the conclusion of your elevator pitch. Using hard data can work in your favor. End your two-minute pitch by confidently stating that your company (and no other) is uniquely positioned to achieve success through fulfilling this unmet market need. In essence, you’re acknowledging the fact that you have competition, but informing the investor that those other companies can’t and don’t do what your company does.
There’s an art to elevator pitches, as with any type of presentation. Practice and be able to deliver yours without stumbling or sounding uncertain. You never know when the opportunity to present it will arise.