The elevator pitch is an age-old practice where you attempt to condense your company’s entire mission into thirty to sixty panicked seconds (or longer if you chose a tall building or a very slow elevator) and present it in a confined space to a possibly disinterested audience.
It’s a great exercise in confidence, memory retention, marketing, and quick thinking. But in an increasingly digital world that subsists on storytelling and instant dopamine hits, the elevator pitch needs to be revamped for a new audience. Read on to discover ways to overhaul this classic business strategy and maximize its effectiveness.
Condense your pitch
As the popularity of TikTok and Instagram Reels clearly illustrates, the new attention span is shorter than ever. According to a Microsoft study, people have an average attention span of eight seconds, down from twelve seconds fifteen years prior. This means you need to capture your audience in the first several seconds if you want to convince them to listen to the rest. Nail down a fifteen-second pitch that will hook them; if you sense it’s going well, you can then pull out the one-minute version from your back pocket.
A one-size-fits-all pitch will reveal to an audience that you aren’t considering who they are as individuals. And if they don’t feel like you are in tune with their needs, they will tune you out. Research your ideal clients, and tailor your pitch to their specific goals and challenges so you can meet them where they’re at. Are they all on a specific social media platform? Take your pitch there. Do they have certain lingo and particular ways of interacting? Use that to your advantage by choosing language and expressions that will feel familiar to them.
Describe your offer
When you only have a short time to pitch, you need to be crystal clear about your mission and the problem you are solving. Be specific about how you are planning to help potential clients and what you are promising to accomplish for them.
Incorporate visuals and multimedia
In a time when visual content is almost mandatory and design and video apps are more accessible than ever, it’s a no-brainer to incorporate this type of content into your pitch. People receive and process information differently, and for visual learners, providing images, graphs, or charts can amplify their understanding. Images can also be extremely evocative, helping to create a lasting connection between your potential client and the idea you are broadcasting. Be intentional about which aspects of the pitch you translate into visual content, and make sure they support your message.
Leverage online platforms
Today’s elevator pitch reaches far beyond the confines of a four-walled moving box. Online platforms, such as social media, websites, and video-sharing outlets, can facilitate a much broader reach for much less work. You are no longer limited by time or physical location. In fact, a video version of your pitch can accrue views and gain traction while you are sleeping!
Craft a narrative
In general, humans are wired to respond to storytelling and emotion. Incorporating a personal anecdote that resonates with your target demographic can give your pitch staying power. This is especially effective if you are putting your pitch on social media. People are much more likely to share something that is relevant to them and their audience than a generic presentation.
Forgo the fearmongering
It can be tempting to use fear to get an emotional reaction and scare potential clients into working with you, but this tactic is far more likely to turn them off instead. At the very least, it will prevent you from forming the foundation of trust necessary to build a long-term customer relationship. To truly connect with a client, focus on ethical sales practices that educate rather than frighten.
Center the client
No one wants to listen to how great you think your product or offering is. They want to hear what it will do for them and how it will make them great. Keep potential clients as the focus of your pitch, explaining how you can meet their needs and improve their lives.
The elevator pitch of today has broken out of its time and space restrictions and now lives everywhere that your prospects are. If you can meet them where they’re at with the information and solutions they are seeking, you will gain big a leg up on your competition.
Review your pitch tactics to see if you need a more modern approach.