In entrepreneurship, every person you meet could be a potential customer or know someone who could be—if only they knew what you can offer them. A short and sweet elevator pitch tells the world who you are and what you do—something you could say in an elevator ride.
Delivered with confidence, it can make an excellent first impression and potentially generate interest in you and your small business, as well as potential business funding opportunities.
Read more below to explore the craft of elevator pitches, several elevator pitch examples for different occasions, plus a template you can use to help you put your best foot forward.
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Quick review: What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a brief introduction or summary of your professional experience that you share with others to highlight your accomplishments. This is really just a way to strike up a conversation so that interested parties can learn more if they so desire. You want to give enough information to be intriguing, without sounding canned or coming off as pushy. Elevator pitches are also great to include in your small business LinkedIn page to help attract more interest and demonstrate what you stand for.
The goal is to generate interest, begin building rapport, and possibly prompt a referral or an invitation to speak further. Here are some essentials to keep in mind as you craft and refine your elevator pitch:
- Be brief: The goal is to make a connection with the person you’re talking to in less than a minute—as in, the time you’d spend in an elevator with them—so only include the most important elements you want to highlight.
- Be clear: The language you use in your pitch should be easy to understand and clear. Make sure your points are, well, to the point.
- Make it specific: This elevator pitch should be specific to the audience you’re aiming to connect with—this will help you form a more authentic connection and avoid sounding rehearsed.
- State your offerings: In the small business world, professionals tend to be mostly interested in what you can do for them and what you will offer them. State your unique selling proposition or call to action that lays out what you can bring to the table.
- Extend an invitation: Be prepared to extend an invitation to whomever you’re talking to once you end your elevator speech. This can be in the form of discussing more details over coffee or simply handing out your business card.
6 business elevator pitch examples
In the world of small businesses, a clever and engaging elevator pitch can convince someone such as an angel investor that it’s worth it to help finance your business. If you’re looking for ways to fund your business, an elevator pitch to attract the right investors is a step in the right direction. Below are some elevator pitch examples that are great to use as an entrepreneur and for pitching to potential investors:
Elevator pitch example for startups
When you’re first establishing your startup, you’re not only going to pitch to investors. Co-founders, salespeople, prospective customers, advisors, mentors, and many others are among those you’ll have to impress. Here are some great example elevator pitches for startups:
1. “My company is responsible for designing and developing personalized sales funnels. This means that our customers can enjoy a flawless user experience tailored to their needs and interests. They can also receive automated solutions that help boost sales. The last client we helped saw their online revenue increase by 120%. Does your company have any experience with e-commerce automation?”
2. “My company has done business with [another company name] and we have found great success with them. Our products have helped nonprofits cut costs by 20% since they are built to [benefit]. Unlike other products, ours do not have to be replaced, which lowers extra costs. By incorporating our products into your current system, your company will run at a smoother rate. We’re actually giving a talk on this tomorrow afternoon—here’s the schedule and a list of the products we’ll be presenting if you’re interested.”
Pitch example for investors
If you’re meeting investors at a conference, career fair, or another networking event, be sure to present your elevator pitch in a conversational tone. Below are some elevator pitches you can use to impress potential investors with your idea or business.
3. “After seeing the number of small businesses that struggled during the pandemic, I began a professional network of individuals who can team up to rent a shop together, rather than taking on the costs solo. I know it works because I moved my candle business in with a local florist, and we each saw a 15% increase in revenue year-over-year. With additional funding, we’re sure that we can grow this to a 30% revenue increase. Is this something you’d be interested in being part of?”
4. “We’ve created a tech company that matches empty trucks to companies looking to move cargo, so trucking companies can generate business from previously empty trips. This also helps reduce the costs of wasted fuel. We’re hoping to raise more capital so we can grow our operations and expand into additional countries. My team and I have more than 20 years of experience in the industry and are well-positioned to improve this business. With your help and funding, we’re confident our revenue will increase by 40%. Is this something you’d be interested in being part of?”
Examples for new clients
Having a prepared elevator pitch is ideal if you need to attract new clients to your small business. The examples below work well for new clients because you’re showing that you understand their niche and how you can help them.
5. “We’re a social media company specializing in B2B finance, so we know how intricate your field can be. We’ve helped a number of your peers improve their social media engagement by over 20% across platforms this past year alone. Are you interested in finding out more about how we can assist you?”
6. “Hi, my name is [name] and I’m here representing [company name]. Are you familiar with our products? By choosing us, you are making a decision to provide your employees with clean, fresh water. Our products are made with an advanced filtering system that removes dangerous pollutants and minerals from water. Since you’re based in the downtown area, I’m sure you’re aware of how important it is to have a clean water system. If you have further questions or would like to get in touch, here’s my business card.”
Now that you’ve seen some effective examples for several scenarios, let’s learn how to craft the perfect elevator pitch to impress your audience and make that connection.
How to write an elevator pitch
Although you should be able to deliver your sales pitch in a short amount of time, it can take a long time to write and perfect it. It can be hard to boil down all of your accomplishments into two or three sentences, but shorter is better. Here are the key points to include in a good elevator pitch.
1. Introduce yourself
Start your elevator pitch by stating who you are—just be sure to keep it brief and to the point. Remember, it’s not about you, so resist the urge to launch into your life story. The elevator pitch is about getting the conversation started so you can learn about your potential new customer (and how your business could help them). Examples of this include:
- “I own a boutique public relations firm.”
- “I’m a personal trainer.”
- “I own a bookkeeping and accounting business.”
- “I’m a graphic designer.”
2. State the problem you solve and who you solve it for
Frame your pitch in terms of the problem you solve (not just what you do) and who you solve it for. This helps listeners understand who your ideal customers are, the pain points you can eliminate, and why they’d want to do business with you. Formulating phrases that include your value proposition can help guide your elevator pitch.
- “We help technology startups get news coverage in business and trade publications.”
- “I specialize in helping people get their strength back after recovering from a serious illness or injury.”
- “We give small business owners peace of mind and help them stay focused on doing what they do best by managing their finances.”
- “I help sports franchises connect with their fans through design and animation.”
3. Answer how, where, and what
Consider adding a final sentence to your elevator pitch to provide additional details that convey something special about your business. Maybe you’d like to share the fact that you have a unique way of working, use some proprietary technology, have a passion for your business, or simply drop in a mention of a high-profile client or two.
Here are some ideas about how to do that:
- “Unlike traditional big-name firms that write a ton of press releases, we focus solely on pitching executive interviews and article placements to our extensive network of media contacts.”
- “I work with people in their homes and I also have a gym with Gyrotonic equipment, which is known for building flexibility and strength without putting strain on your joints.”
- “As a small business owner myself, I just love helping small businesses succeed.”
- “You know those graphics you see up on the scoreboard at the Patriots games, and that ad campaign featuring the Canucks hockey players ice skating outdoors? That’s some of my work.”
Now that you’ve learned how to craft an elevator pitch, read more to learn different delivery tips you can implement to make your pitch stand out.
Delivering your elevator pitch
When delivering your elevator pitch, how you say it is just as important as what you say. Here are a few elevator pitch delivery tips to help you sharpen your communication skills and present your most confident self:
- Follow the outline: Be sure not to stray from the outline and go off-topic—keep it short and sweet. You also don’t want to recite it word for word, so make sure you memorize your pitch and buzzwords enough to not have to worry about looking at notes.
- Speak clearly and slowly: A lot of people tend to speak faster when they’re nervous. When giving your elevator pitch, remember to focus on speaking slowly and enunciate so your audience can understand you. Be sure to also convey confident body language.
- Be persuasive and positive: Speak in an upbeat tone and focus on the positives and what you want to achieve during your delivery.
- Record yourself: Before delivering your elevator pitch, practice and record yourself so you can catch areas where you may need improvement.
- Practice: Practice makes perfect, and being overly prepared never hurts. Keep practicing your elevator pitch until you can confidently say it in a way that sounds natural.
Elevator pitch don’ts
Using the right tools and strategies, you can help ensure that your elevator pitch is unforgettable. Here are several elevator pitch mistakes to avoid:
- Including too much information: Your pitch is meant to be short and sweet. Avoid overstuffing and making your pitch too long, as the goal is to capture your audience’s attention with the most important details.
- Not practicing enough: Practicing your elevator pitch is crucial—if you’re not properly prepared, you risk leaving out important details and rambling to fill space.
- Using jargon: Not everyone will understand certain jargon in your field of expertise, so be sure to use terminology that is widely understood to better capture attention.
- Not giving your audience the chance to respond: Leave some room at the end of your elevator pitch for questions or additional thoughts. Consider also handing them your contact information, such as a business card.
- Limiting yourself to one elevator pitch: To further diversify your portfolio, have more than one elevator pitch handy. That way, you can test which one works best and also expand your audience.
Elevator pitch template
After you’ve gathered your information and reviewed the various elevator pitch examples, it’s time to craft your speech. Use the template below to help guide you through piecing together your own elevator pitch.
Use your elevator pitch to elevate your prospects
Although it might seem scary or uncomfortable to talk about your business in this way, it’s really not that different from what you are probably already doing. The best elevator pitch is just pulling the most important elements together in a succinct way so that it is easy for people to grasp what you do in a short amount of time.
Remember, the goal of the elevator pitch is not to sell or close the deal, so don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself. It’s simply to start a conversation, and if it does that consistently, you’ve done your job.
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This article originally appeared on the QuickBooks Resource Center and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.
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