The Better Elevator Pitch™
Aim for a conversation – not a monologue – with this two-step approach
Yesterday's Elevator Pitch
A short summary used to quickly and simply define a profession, product, service, organization, or event and its value proposition in answer to the question “What do you do?” The name "elevator pitch" reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes.
These days, elevator pitches are almost as common as cell phones in high school. Colleges and digital copywriting courses teach them. New employees are indoctrinated with the company pitch. Networking groups promote their practice on regular basis. So, we get it and our pitches are attracting more interest and sales are skyrocketing, right? Well, maybe not.
Today's Better Elevator Pitch
Everything is faster-paced these days. Computers, Movies, even the News. And our attention spans aren't what they were even a decade ago. We want our information right now. And this goes double for an Elevator Pitch. Here's how to craft yours.
Make It Quick
The trouble is, most are far too long – and predictably dull. So, although the person hearing the pitch feigns polite attention, you can see their eyes glaze over, and their brains disconnect. It’s difficult to try to ride a 30 to 120 second “infomercial” to business victory when the average adult attention span has decreased from 13 seconds in 2013, to a mere 8 seconds today. (As a point of comparison, the attention span of a goldfish was measured at 9 seconds.)
Make It Intriguing
Instead, I advocate keeping your elevator pitches to only a few seconds. Three to six seems about right. Your answer to the question, “What Do You Do?” (WDYD) should not only be exceedingly brief, it should be engaging, intriguing, thought-provoking with just a little mystery thrown in. The Better Elevator Pitch is like conversion copywriting, it’s designed to elicit a specific type of response from the listener. A response that asks, in essence, “How Do You Do That?” (HDYDT)
Make It Elicit A Response
Once you get that response (or conversion), you can answer it with a slightly longer explanation/unique value proposition designed to elicit a second response, essentially “Tell me more.” And now you’re off to the races. For your edification and amusement, here are three samples – an insurance agent, a baker, and (ahem!) me – your above average marketing guy.
Some Modest Examples Of The Better Elevator Pitch
WDYD?: “I protect your family from financial ruin!”
HDYDT?: “With over 40 insurance-based products I can custom-tailor just for you!”
* * *
WDYD?: “I fill your mouth with joy!”
HDYDT?: “With 23 scrumptious and unique cupcakes and tarts I bake fresh every day!”
* * *
WDYD?: “I help you increase sales without increasing your marketing budget!”
HDYDT?: “I developed a highly effective 5-step marketing system that shows you exactly how to create and articulate your unique message!”
Now it’s your turn. Go out and develop your own “Better Elevator Pitch” and let the conversations, conversions, and sales begin!
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