If you’ve read our Definitive Guide to Starting a Small Business, you’ll have read a little about the elevator pitch. But what makes a great one? And why is having one so important?

First and foremost, when you meet someone new in a professional capacity, your elevator pitch is what you say when someone asks you who you are and what you do. It’s succinct and to the point. It’s engaging. And most importantly, it’s a hook. It leaves the listener wanting to know more.

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of what makes a great elevator pitch though, it’s important to note that confidence is so important, both in terms of the delivery, but also the strength of the message. Confidence allows your passion for what you do to shine through. It encourages people to want to know more. To become part of your ‘inner circle’. People buy from people, after all, and there’s a reason for that!

Elevating your elevator pitch…

So what should a good elevator pitch look like?

Well, the first thing to consider is the duration. Imagine you’re in an elevator and the person you meet is getting out in a couple of floors’ time. You will have about 30 seconds or so. No longer. And even if they weren’t getting out, it’s important to be able to get your message across quickly and concisely.

My name is Jane Smith, and my company, Smith Family Frames…

The next thing to think about is what you actually ‘do’. And we need to think outside the box here. What do you actually do for people? For example, you might make photo frames – but what you actually do for people is much more than that. It’s about the problem you solve for them. The service you provide. How you make them feel.

… helps people to capture and display their memories in beautiful, hand-crafted photo frames…

And then comes the Secret Sauce. But what do we mean by that? Well, your Secret Sauce is what makes you different. What makes you stand out from everyone else who does a similar job to you. This might be something more tangible, like the use of a secret ingredient or a particular approach to what you do. Or it might be something more innate to you, the business owner – like passion for your subject, or your background and experience.

… made using time-honoured wood-working techniques that have been passed down through generations of my family.

Well? What do you think? Would Jane’s elevator pitch leave you wanting to know more? And what about if she had simply said ‘I’m Jane, and I make photo frames’? Would that make want to look at her products? Or would you walk away?

Next steps

Next time someone asks you what you do, remember this formula:

I, Mrs ABC, and my company DEF, help people to overcome problem G by providing H… using of course, my Secret Sauce.

Give it a try, and if you would like some extra support or feedback, get in touch! Our members’ Facebook group is the perfect place to ask questions and get support and feedback as you work towards growing your business.