Imagine this situation: you are a young entrepreneur with an innovative business idea that can revolutionize the world. However, without the necessary financing, you can’t do anything, so you have to find an investor. In an office building, you enter an elevator and meet one of the most important businessmen of the city. This is your chance! However, you only have 30 seconds to present your company and maybe change your whole life. Everything will depend on how you sell your idea. Indeed, even if your company is the best and most innovative one, if you do not know how to sell it well, you will not be successful. This is why we would like to introduce you to the concept of elevator pitch.
What is the elevator pitch?
It is a small informal presentation that lasts just the time needed to climb three floors in an elevator. Its purpose is to sell a project or business to your potential customers or investors. To do so, you must attract them, convince them that your idea is viable and substantial, and encourage them to talk about it at greater length during a meeting. When you schedule the appointment date on your calendar, you will know that your elevator pitch has worked.
Tips for an elevator pitch
The question is: How can I convince my client or investor in such a short period of time to invest on my business? It may be difficult, but nothing is impossible. We will explain to you step by step what you need to do.
Know your audience!
Applying the same strategy to everyone does not work. If you want your contacts to know you, you must first know them. Any information can be useful: who is he/she? What type of projects does he/she usually invest in? What companies does he/she work with? Let the other person know that you are not talking to him/her just by chance, but that you really want to do business with him/her.
Also remember that your tone of voice will change depending on the type of person you are speaking to.
For example, if you are addressing a customer, you need to tell him/her a story that shows how you can solve his/her problems. However, if you are talking to a supplier, it is best to focus on the benefits you can offer him/her.
Practice makes perfect. Before you go and talk to your investor, practice at home. Think carefully about what you should say at your first meeting and what information you should save for a later date. You can practice with a friend, family member or other person when rehearsing. Repeat your speech many times until you master it perfectly and it comes naturally. This will help you to better control your nerves and give the impression that you are confident. In addition to the speech, be prepared for all kinds of questions he/she may ask you.
Be assertive and sincere!
Assertiveness plays an important role here. Instead of saying “I think”, say “I’m sure that”; instead of saying “I’ll try”, say “I’ll do it”. It is important that the person you are talking to understands that you are confident and that you believe in the success of your business. But it doesn’t mean you have to lie; if there is something you do not know, admit it. Investors deal with many types of people and know when people are not telling the truth. Even little lie can hurt your credibility and end a relationship permanently.
Use all the ingredients of an elevator pitch
There are elements that you cannot omit in your speech and that you should not forget to include. These elements are:
- Presentation (what is your name, what is your business…)
- Action (what do you do… do you sell, advise, etc.?)
- Your target audience (know who your potential customers are)
- Audience problems (what are their needs?)
- Solutions (how can you help your customers and help them to meet their needs?)
- Benefits (what do you bring to your customers?)
When to use the elevator pitch concept?
Although the analogy of the elevator is used to explain the concept of the elevator pitch, you are not going to stay all day long waiting for an important person to arrive. So, how can you get in touch with your potential investors?
Events of this type are very useful for creating a network of business contacts. They are perfect for meeting other entrepreneurs, finding new customers or creating alliances. Use your elevator pitch to get information and don’t forget to exchange business cards so you can continue to connect with the contacts you have.
Of course, it is better to talk face-to-face with your investors or potential clients, but this is not always possible. Hence, you will often have to make phone calls, especially if you want to contact someone abroad. In this case, having an international number with switchboard features could give a good image, as foreign investors will be more willing to collaborate with someone who has a local presence in the market. For making calls, the elevator pitch is essential because the objective is to get attention and set up an appointment to talk about the project or company.
This professional social network can be a good source of contacts whether you are looking for investors or clients. However, they generally do not read messages that are too long. You can therefore adapt your elevator pitch into a written version to ensure that your message will be read.
As you can see, the elevator pitch is a crucial method for selling your ideas, projects or companies. Now all you have to do is put everything into practice and start contacting investors and customers.
Article written by Amélie Latourelle Head of Marketing and Communication at Fonvirtual, a company specializing in the marketing of international virtual numbers, IP telephony and corporate telecommunications.