In Montreal, I had just seen a concert with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones at the Montreal Jazz Festival. And lo and behold, a few minutes after the show ended, I ended up in an elevator with the bassist, Victor Wooten himself. I was looking at him, he was looking at me, and all I could think of to say was, “your hands move like birds.”
And his whole face lit up! I could tell that I made his day.
And all it took were those five simple words.
An elevator pitch is a super short – think 30 seconds or less – way of introducing yourself or getting across a key point or two so you’re able to make a valuable connection with another human being.
But so many entrepreneurs, business owners and job seekers don’t have one. And they end up rambling and rambling and rambling… leading their audiences to tune them out pretty much completely.
They’re nervous and they don’t know how to position themselves.
But there’s a simple elevator pitch formula that you can follow that you can use to sell anything, including yourself.
So regardless of whether you want to close a sale with a potential client or you want to build an important partnership at your next networking event, or even just get to know someone on LinkedIn, this formula is going to work for you.
So keep reading or watch the video.
Let’s dive in!
Step #1: Define Your Audience
So step number one of defining your elevator pitch is actually defining your audience because you need to know who you’re talking to. And so many people try to use the exact same pitch, no matter the audience, and that flat out doesn’t work. So if you don’t clearly define your ideal audience – your perfect people – and then speak to them, nothing you say will matter. I knew who I was in that elevator with. I knew that Victor Wooten would be excited that I saw how fast he could shred on that base.
Let’s say you’re trying to sell a startup, you’re going to talk to them in a very different way than you would a major Fortune 500 Corporation, even if you’re selling the exact same product or service because they’re different. And what they want to hear is different. They have different needs, different budgets and different ways of working.
Step #2: Define Your Purpose
What’s the end goal for your elevator pitch?
- To make a sale
- Get a second conversation
- Nail down a spot to speak on someone else’s stage
- Start building a partnership
Whatever the case, start with that end goal in mind because how you pitch an immediate sale versus trying to get a follow-up conversation is going to be different. And what you say is going to change based on who you’re talking to and what you’re hoping the result of that conversation is going to be.
Step #3: Come up With Your One-Sentence Pitch
Now that you’ve defined your audience and your purpose, it’s time to craft your one-sentence pitch.
This one sentence is going to demonstrate your value right off the bat and get someone hooked.
And you can do it using a very simple formula.
I Help X, Do Y, So That Z.
I help X is the kind of person you help.
Y is what you’re going to help them do or achieve (your solution).
And Z is the end result they’ll get.
Katya Ruslan says I help coaches and healers find and share the silver lining in their most painful experiences so they can help others and make a meaningful impact in the world.
Beth Ellen Nash says I empower Dyslexics to gain skills and confidence so they can thrive in school and in life.
And then we have Kelly waters. Her statement is: I help women who struggle with yo-yo dieting, emotional overeating, and binge eating to overcome their issues by understanding their brain chemistry and how this links to food and their stories. So they can naturally find balance, reduce cravings, and learn to enjoy food and find freedom from it at the same time.
So now that you’ve seen a few examples, before we move on to Step #4, take a moment to write your one-sentence statement. And remember progress over perfection. Don’t try to get this perfect. Just take a stab. Let the words flow. You can always come back to this later.
And I promise you, you’re going to fine-tune and refine this as you practice and say this out in the real world. And then see the expressions you get back. Whether someone lights up, they lean in, they ask you the money questions like: Tell me more. Where can I sign up? Oh, I’ve got to introduce you to my friends.
If that happens, that’s a great sign that you’ve really got something cooking!
But if people just go blank or look disinterested, keep working on it until you get it right. As long as you’re speaking to your perfect customer, the words you say in this elevator pitch should open them up to wanting to hear more.
So write your one-sentence pitch and then go ahead and put it in the comments right now. I’d love to read them and maybe even suggest a few edits. Plus, when you put it out there, you make it real!
Step #4: Expand Into a Full Pitch
From the one-sentence pitch, you get to expand into a full pitch. Because if that one sentence really lands for someone, they’re going to ask you, tell me more. And you want to be able to back up that first sentence with more juicy goodness!
In that full pitch, you want to include a few things.
First, you want to speak to the challenge the person you’re talking to might be having because the best offers speak to a specific problem or challenge. Maybe you start with a story that paints a picture and then make that connection to them to the person you’re talking to.
Then you want to be able to really share your solution, what you really do, and then say why the solution is for them. Why someone wants to take action now and why you’re the one to support them.
Now that’s just one small piece of messaging that can start to open doors for you, what I call the X, Y, Z statement.
And there are many more pieces of messaging that you can use in different situations outside of that elevator to get people excited and leaning in and wanting to work with you.
Here’s that simple elevator pitch formula one more time.
- Step #1: Define Your Audience.
- Step #2: Define the Purpose of Your Pitch
- Step #3: Come up With Your One Sentence Pitch.
- Step #4: Craft the Full Pitch containing the challenge you solve (your solution). And the all-important questions: Why this? Why now? Why you?
Once you have that, you can start a conversation with anyone, anywhere.
Put Your Pitch Out Into The World
Before you go, I wanted to show you the pitch formula in action. So here’s how I personally pitch my annual 3-day business growth accelerator, Live Your Message LIVE.
Are you a budding entrepreneur who’s not quite sure what to do next to start or grow your business? Well, what if you could jump on Zoom, feeling overwhelmed, and then jump off three days later with an exact roadmap for what to say, do and sell to grow your business fast? And the best part about it is that it will all fit on one sheet of paper.
You see what I did there? Doesn’t it make you want to go grab your ticket right now? Well, you can’t just yet because we just wrapped up the 11th annual Live Your Message LIVE. But not to worry because we do this event every year in early March. So save the date for March 1-3, 2024!
Now one quick tip before you go, try incorporating any objections and possible questions you think might arise when you share what you do with people. That way, you’re overcoming objections right off the bat in your full pitch.
Now go out there, craft your full pitch and keep practicing it and revising it as you go. Because that’s when the magic starts to happen.
Quick question for you…
How do you build a business that stands the test of time?
A business that gives you the life you’ve only dreamed of?
By discovering your True North Business (the one you’re meant to build).
And in my free Masterclass — Discover the Business You’re Truly Meant to Build & How to Share It With the World — I’ll help you uncover the best path to take for YOU.
So if you’re ready to build a business on a rock-solid foundation — instead of one built on sand — then check out my 60-minute Masterclass!
Now before you go… don’t forget to drop your one-sentence pitch in the comments 🙂