Last week I went to the Great British Business Show at the Excel Centre in London. It was quite the experience. It was absolutely massive. Tens of thousands of people were there. Most of the speakers weren’t my cup of tea, to be honest. They were all the same. They get up on stage, show a picture of a Porsche (or in one speaker’s case, his wife, making sure we all knew she was 17 years younger than he was, I kid you not). Then it’s ‘pay £500 for my course and learn how to be like me. If you don’t, you’re a loser who deserves to live in poverty’. Hint. They got rich selling courses for £500 to the gullible.
Anyway, part of the exhibition that was brilliant was the speed networking. Through a system of musical chairs and a guy with a klaxon horn, you got to meet about 30 people in an hour. You have 2 minutes with them, then you move on to the next person. It was great. I met so many interesting people, and some that I hope to do business with in the future. It also forced me to very quickly develop an elevator pitch. When you have about 30 seconds to sum up yourself and your business, your words need to be as simple and as efficient as possible. If you ended up in that situation, would you have something to say?
Elevator pitches get business
There are so many benefits to developing an effective elevator pitch for your business. You never know when you may need it. You may actually end up in a lift with someone who can really help you. It’s important to work one out now, just in case.
People like what they can understand. If you can confidently sum up your business, and what problems you solve, in 30 seconds or less, you will come across as someone who knows what they’re doing. Time is precious, so they’ll also warm to you for respecting your time. It will get you the meeting, where you can go into more detail.
A good elevator pitch will lead to referrals. If you can easily explain your business, the chances are that other people will be able to as well. When they’re in a situation where they can recommend you, they will.
Elevator pitches help you too
Being able to explain your business in 30 seconds also helps you get things straight in your own mind. When you run a business, you wear a lot of hats. You may like to think you excel at a thousand different tasks. However, developing an elevator pitch requires you to focus on just one. You soon figure out what is important, and what isn’t. You’re forced to work out who your business is for, what problems you solve, and where your skills lie. This is useful if you want to operate in a specialist niche.
The best thing about elevator pitches is that nothing is set in stone. It’s a fluid concept, that you can adapt and revise at will. I’ve got mine down pat now, have you?
P.S. I suppose I should practise what I preach. Here’s my elevator pitch:
Hi. I’m Mike. I’m a copywriter. I write articles for startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses. If you run a business, there are so many benefits to putting fresh articles on your site regularly. It gets you higher on Google, it builds your authority in your industry. It keeps your audience on your site, and most importantly, it gets you sales. Most people don’t have the time to write great content consistently, or they think they don’t have the skills. That’s where I come in.