Tag Archives: Elevator Pitch

Don’t Drive Angry.

In honor of Groundhog Day and one of my favorite movies by the same name, I wanted to recall a blog post from a little over a year ago regarding the elusive elevator speech.  It continues to be a hot topic with many of my clients and networking groups.  While getting it right takes work, once it is done it can make the difference of whether or not you get your foot in the door.

Originally Posted January 5, 2009

I am often amazed that even in the smallest companies discrepancies exist between how employees convey the company story.  And if you can’t get your story straight, you can’t expect customers to truly understand what you do.

So what to do.

Have all your employees memorize your mission statement?  I have seen it done and it doesn’t work.

Create the perfect elevator pitch* and print it on the back of their business cards? The elevator pitch is a good start, but if it feels rote, it won’t be believable.

The answer – create that elevator pitch, but help your employees make it their own.  Help them internalize the idea you set forth for your brand and let them express it in their own way.  That way it is delivered with conviction.

*Your elevator pitch is the 10 – 15 second description of why someone should hire your company.  If you don’t have one, creating one should be a priority.

To see where you stand, conduct a simple exercise.

  1. Write down what you think is your elevator pitch.
  2. Have everyone write down what they think is your elevator pitch.
  3. Analyze the findings to see if everyone is on the same page.  Be honest and do not infer what people mean to say.
  4. If everyone is on the same page, great.  If not, you have a starting point to see what needs to be fixed.
  5. If the differences are significant try to identify trends.  Do the customer-facing people describe your company one way, and the back office another?  Do your long-time employees have a different perspective than your newer employees?
  6. Honestly assess the findings and determine if your elevator pitch is the best one or does a better solution exist.
  7. Present the final elevator pitch to your employees and have them write down what it means to them.  Doing so will help them internalize the pitch so they can it with conviction.

With any branding activity, it does require monitoring.

Every six months ask your employees if they think the elevator pitch is still relevant to your audience.  This is a non-threatening way to get their input and to ensure they know how important it is to you.

If things begin to stray repeat the exercise outlined above.

What is your elevator speech?  Help each other out by posting your in the comments section.


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The Elevator Pitch Revisited

The past few weeks I have been involved in many conversations regarding the perfect elevator pitch.  In each conversation I’ve challenged people to evolve their idea of an elevator pitch to fit in with today’s technology.  This requires keeping their pitch to 140 characters required by Twitter or the 70 characters allowed by Google AdWords.

To that end I am reposting this blog entry from January of this year.

about_logoGoogle AdWords are those “sponsored links” in the right hand column on any Google search results page.  While we’ll discuss these further another time, these are cost per click ads that are placed by a company to get your attention based on your search terms.

When using Google AdWords as a marketing tool, the challenge is communicating your point of difference in 70 characters (including spaces).  This limited amount of space also needs to motivate the audience to take action.  Just like your elevator pitch.  This got me thinking- are Google AdWords this generation’s version of the elevator pitch?

Could you differentiate your company in 70 characters?    It’s not easy.  Luckily for me it only required a 35% reduction in characters bringing my AdWords pitch to “We increase your marketing return without increasing your investment”.

There is a sales adage that says know when to stop talking.  That same advice can be said about your AdWords pitch.  Make it relevant, distinct, motivating and to the point – 70 characters will force you to do just that.  Then once you’ve said your pitch, let your audience strike up the conversation to find out more.  If they don’t want to learn more then maybe your pitch isn’t as strong as it needs to be.

If it isn’t please refer to our previous entries – Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch and Who’s On First?

So see if you can get your AdWords pitch down to 70 characters.  Doing so is just another way to market smarter.

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Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch

Thank you everyone for the great response received from last week’s post on consistent brand message.  I also received many questions regarding how I evaluate an elevator pitch.  

My evaluation criteria is quite simple.  

First, is your pitch unique?  Can anyone else offer what your company offers?

Second, is it relevant to your audience? Unique is good, but unique things without relevancy don’t stick around too long.

Third, does it motivate your audience to take action?  This is the true test.  After hearing your elevator speech, does a person want to continue the conversation?

Fourth, do you have the support to back it up should your audience choose to continue the conversation?

Fifth, can you say it in 5 to 10 seconds?

The sixth criteria (not critical, but preferred) is making sure it is not filled with marketing fluff.

My elevator pitch is “M is for Marketing improves a company’s return on their marketing investment without increasing their investment”.  

It took me a while to get it to this point, but I have been pleased with how it is being received.  More important I have examples of how it has successfully been put into action for a variety of companies.  Lastly, it only takes me 5 seconds to deliver it.

Every company needs a good elevator pitch, having one is a big step in helping you market smarter.

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