Do you know the elevator pitch?

Last updated by Tanya Leahy [SSW] 29 days ago.See history

The first impression given to a prospective client or employee is essential to forming their image of a company. A bad impression means they are unlikely to be interested.

The scenario

Consider the situation where you jump in an elevator and start chatting to the other person and they ask "What does your company do?"

There is probably under 60 seconds to give an answer that will excite them about your company.

This conversation is called the "elevator pitch", and knowing how to do it is crucial.

This doesn't just happen in elevators, this can happen when you meet a new client, it can happen at an event, it can happen when you're at a barbecue with a friend. The more effort you put into doing this well, the better you will sound.

Although not everybody is in sales, we all will have to convince others at different times.

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Figure: Imagine you jump in an elevator and someone says "What does your company do?"

How to form an elevator pitch

To form an elevator pitch, it is important to collate your thoughts about the ethos of the company. Consider these areas:

#1 The What

Think about what your company does and for whom, focus on the problems they solve.

For example:

  • We build enterprise custom software for businesses.

Tip: You might have 15 great points, but start the conversation with a couple of important ones. Consider who you are speaking to when choosing the highest value points.

#2 The Unique Value

Now think about the unique value the company delivers to clients and note it down too.

For example:

  • We work in Scrum teams
  • We build with Microsoft technologies
  • We use and publish best practices

#3 The Where

Finally, where do you do business?

For example, the company might have offices in:

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Newcastle
  • Hangzhou
  • Strasbourg

#4 Now practice

Now you have a few bullet points, go outside and record a quick video from memory. Here's a few tips to get it right:

  • Hook people in - Make sure to mention the question at the start, so people have a little context.
  • Practice and perfect it - Do a few takes until it feels right

There you go, that's your elevator pitch!

Let's take a look at some examples of an elevator pitch for SSW:

Video: Piers does an elevator pitch

Video: Uly does an elevator pitch

Video: Matt does an elevator pitch

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