Preparing Your Elevator Pitch – How To Excel At Your 30-Second Presentation
Preparing Your Elevator Pitch – How To Excel At Your 30-Second Presentation
The infamous elevator pitch… It can be quite daunting thinking about cutting down your idea into a 30 second sound byte just to get your point across. It’s a lot more challenging to get really short and simple!
A person’s time is more valuable than ever before. Assuming that striking up a conversation with a stranger in an elevator will last longer than one minute is a big no-no! And, unfortunately, assumptions won’t get you very far.
Plus, even if you held that conversation for longer, they may not be interested in what you have to say when you start chatting!
So, what’s your next step?
It’s time to get purposeful and specific with your elevator pitch. And we want to help you do it! Keep reading and you’ll learn some great examples of templates for creating simple elevator pitches and how to make those your own!
What is an elevator pitch?
Really plainly put, your elevator pitch is a short and simple statement that describes your idea clearly and that can be understood by any person. Your idea can be just that – an idea – or it can be a product, a service, or even a company!
“Pitch” refers to a persuasive sales pitch, while the “elevator” portion refers to the short simple interaction that two (or more) people might have in the time it takes to go from floor to floor in an elevator. Elevator pitches assume you are pitching your sale (or your idea) to someone in the time it takes for your ideal client to board the elevator and get off on the next floor.
Now, let’s look at this definition from a coaching perspective.
As a coach, your elevator pitch should be how you decide to sell yourself. If you aren’t trying to sell your product or service, and simply want to introduce yourself, think of your elevator pitch as a short introductory statement of who you are – in 30 seconds or less!
Understanding what an elevator pitch is specifically for coaches is step one… but what comes next?
KISS your elevator pitch
Have you ever heard of the term “KISS”?
It stands for Keep It Short & Simple!
It can also stand for Keep It Short & Sweet, Keep It Simple & Specific, etc.
Although the term KISS seems nice and sweet, when it comes down to condensing your purpose and brilliant ideas into a single elevator pitch, it can get tough!
The average elevator pitch spans between 30 and 60 seconds. Do you think that such a short timeframe will let you indulge in all of your life’s accomplishments? No!
Then you must keep it short! How? By including only what’s necessary. And this is where the “simple” part of KISS comes in: choosing what to include in your elevator pitch (keeping the short, simple, and sweet in mind)!
What to include in your elevator pitch
This seems obvious: to state your name when you are introducing yourself and your idea to someone… but we’ve heard silly stories about coaches being so nervous when they make their first few elevator pitches that they really do forget to introduce who they are!
If the situation is formal, introduce your full name – first & last. If you have found yourself in a less formal setting – perhaps you’ve met someone at a farmers market instead of an office building elevator – use your first name or even a nickname.
And remember, introduce yourself with confidence! You have a really great idea and you are proud to put your name in front of it!
Your title is your coaching niche – you may be a Relationship Coach, a Fitness Coach, a Life Coach, a Career Coach, etc.
Make sure to share your sweet spot in coaching!
Remember – keep it simple. Overcomplicating your title to make you sound important may be received as pompous. Even if your official title is something like Relationship Coach Guru to the Gods… perhaps stick with a simple “Relationship Coach”.
Plus, fluffing your title up will take up more time in your short elevator pitch! Keep it short and sweet, and to the point.
Keep reading to find great examples of short & simple titles used by many coaches.
An Assumption (or rhetorical question)
This one is a bit tricky, so bear with us! At the end of your elevator pitch, you’ll have to make an assumption based on your prospect.
The assumption or rhetorical question that you use in your elevator pitch simply refers to the problem that your client may experience.
Let’s say you are giving your elevator pitch to a VP of Sales. It is usually safe to assume that as a salesperson, they have at one point done the dreaded cold call. The majority of salespeople who have had to do cold-calling will tell you that it is not their favourite task.
In this scenario, you might end your elevator pitch with the following assumption: “As a salesperson, you have probably experienced hesitation before making cold calls, right?”
This is a rhetorical question because you don’t need them to answer – it’s safe to assume that almost any salesperson has experienced hesitation prior to making a cold call. The catch? Most salespeople won’t acknowledge this!
There is, however, a better way to ask this question while being direct and yielding a more open response from the recipient. Try replacing the original question with: “Are there any salespeople on your team that hesitate when making cold calls?”
Now, what you have done is you have shifted the specific focus off of the person you are speaking to (which may have indirectly accused them of struggling with cold call hesitation) and applied the general assumption to a broader audience.
You are no longer making the assumption that the VP of Sales is struggling with hesitating to make cold calls. Rather, you are making the general assumption that it is common for many salespeople to experience this.
The outcome is crucial for your elevator pitch. Make it as straightforward as you can – what do you do for your clients? What were your results in the past? What did your clients learn from you? What’s the outcome?
Your outcome refers to your specific idea – your business idea, your product, your service. Your outcome is the solution to a problem that your audience may be experiencing. Using the VP of Sales example again, your solution is going to relate to how you can eliminate hesitation among salespeople who spend their day doing cold calls.
Make sure you have time to provide an example of a success story you’ve had while working with a client or company. The power of examples, testimonials, or success stories is strong when pitching your idea to a prospect. It gives proof of your solution and builds value in your proposal.
Now that you know the ingredients for a simple and sweet elevator pitch, it’s time to determine who you should give your elevator pitch to!
How to end your elevator pitch
You’ve just finished your elevator pitch and your prospect seems interested. What now?
Wrap up your pitch with a simple call to action (CTA). After pitching, you’ll probably have only a handful of seconds in order to advance the deal. If you want to be direct, ask your prospect to arrange a follow-up meeting to discuss more information! A really easy CTA is asking your prospect for their contact information. Ask them their preferred method of communication and ensure them that you will reach out to them.
Then, if you still find you have time (maybe the elevator is making stops at every floor), start a conversation! Keep the momentum going! Here is your opportunity to build rapport with your prospect and potentially turn them into a client.
If you find yourself strapped for time – let’s say the elevator doors are starting to open – hand your business card to them! Even if they don’t become your client from the start, they will think of you when the need arises!
Who should you pitch?
Take a second and think about your biggest followers and your toughest crowd as a coach.
We are referring to your family. We’ve heard so many times that families and friends are a coach’s biggest supporters but also the toughest audiences to pitch.
If you are a coach, you’ve probably heard this before from your family: “Maybe your old job will hire you back” or “Maybe keep in touch with your old boss just in case”.
Yes, it can be frustrating to hear those statements from people who are supposed to be your supporters. That’s why your family is also the toughest nut to crack (at first) when it comes to starting out as a coach.
Here’s the challenge: If you aren’t selling your family with your elevator pitch, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing… Really, it means that you should tweak your pitch to appeal to them specifically!
Once you are comfortable with pitching the toughest crowd, it’s time to move toward new prospects! Although you might want to choose your prospects according to your desires, be sure not to be too picky in the beginning. At first, you may pitch 30 or 40 people, and only one will turn into a possible lead. So, the more pitches you do in the beginning, the better – even if you are simply practicing!
Remember, even the most experienced coach has their elevator pitches turned down.
Why? Because not everyone wants to work with a coach… and that is okay!
Sometimes, more often than not, your pitch will not resonate with the audience you are speaking with, no matter the prospect. In these moments, skip being pushy and instead, move on!
Here’s a tip to curb the negative stigma attached to the word “no” – tell yourself that “NO” simply stands for Next Opportunity.
Simple Elevator Pitch Samples
Hello, my name is Rod Macdonald and I am the CEO of the Certified Coaches Federation. I help good people become great coaches by providing training, workshops, and certification programs. What are some of the things holding you back from being as successful as you want to be as a coach?
My name is Tammy and I’m a Business Coach helping people increase their sales through specialized cold-calling techniques. Last week one of my clients reported a 17% increase in conversion rates because of my training. Has your sales team experiencing challenges in their cold calling strategy?
My name is Edward. I’m an Executive Coach and I help businesses increase their sales by helping people discover their truest selves. Businesses tend to focus on profit more than people, which can negatively affect the future of the business! I’ve found that once I help my clients switch their focus from profit to people, their authenticity can positively influence their sales. Do you find that people in your team struggle with prioritizing profits over authenticity?
Elevator Pitch Template
What do you think about elevator pitches? Do you have any good, bad, or maybe even funny stories about elevator pitches? Let us know what your elevator pitch is! Leave us a comment down below with your thoughts.
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