No matter what business you’re in, you need to have an elevator pitch. You never know when you might run into someone and have the perfect (if short) opportunity to talk up your business. Make sure your elevator pitch is pitch-perfect with these quick tips.
1) Keep it simple
Elevator pitches are short by definition. This isn’t the time for your full pitch deck. Keep your pitch short and sweet. If you have a key feature that differentiates your product, mention it. But keep rundowns of features to a minimum. Focus on what your product enables people to do, not how your product does it.
2) Don’t sound too sales-y
Elevator pitches are about selling your product of course, but you don’t want to sound too sales-y. An artful elevator pitch is all about the quick win. Say just enough to get someone interested. They’ll either ask for more details, or you can set up a meeting and continue the conversation later.
3) Narrow down your idea
Can you describe your business in one sentence? If you can, that one sentence is probably a great kick-off for an elevator pitch. If not, work on that. A great way to narrow down your idea is to ask friends and family to describe your business or product. It will give you insight into what outsiders see as important, and help focus on the core idea that drives your business.
4) Practice your pitch
A great elevator pitch should simply roll off your tongue. If it doesn’t, then practice it until it does. Aim for a conversational tone, rather than a rehearsed one. Once you’ve written your elevator pitch, don’t forget to practice actually speaking it aloud. Try it out on friends and colleagues, and take their feedback seriously. That way when a real opportunity to use your elevator pitch presents itself you’ll have already perfected it.
5) Use numbers (wisely)
Numbers can be very persuasive, and when used in an elevator pitch they can add weight to what you are saying. If you have a great stat about your business use it. But too many numbers in a short amount of time can quickly overwhelm your listener. Toss out one great number, and be ready for a couple more if they ask follow-up questions.
RingCentral knows communications. Our small business phone service is designed to give your small business all the tools you need to succeed. So get out there and start pitching your amazing product, and know that when you do, you’ll have the infrastructure to make your business work.
Originally published Jan 20, 2017, updated Aug 12, 2020