To be successful in anything, you have to have a very captivating elevator pitch. First impressions are made within milliseconds so when I’m looking for new clients for my company, I know that I have a 5-10 second window to tell them why they should listen to what I have to say. Elevator pitches happen in different steps but they all rely so heavily on the prior that mess one of them up, you risk losing business (no pressure). Make sure to know the proper steps before going in and practice on some friends or family so you can work out the kinks. Depending on what you’re selling, you don’t have a lot of time to make a sale so be super prepared at all times.
Steps of the Elevator Pitch
Step 1: Get to the point. Nothing drives me crazier than when someone walks up to me trying to sell me something and just blabs on and on why I should buy this or why I need that. Get to the point. For me, it’s recruiting. I understand what all clients want and that is a rock star candidate to join their team. I already know their biggest frustration is the time it takes to source and interview potential candidates when they have their own jobs to perform. I also know that not understanding where to find top talent is another frustration. When I’m reaching out to CEO’s, COO’s or VP’s, I make sure to include all 3 of those things in my pitch first. It’s not about getting everything out at this point, it’s about capturing their attention for a few minutes longer to tell them the rest. (Total time for this step: 1 minute or less)
Step 2: Explain your point. Now that they’re willing to listen, explain to them how you do all of this. Don’t give them your entire life story and why you know you’re the right person for the job, but explain how you’re going to help them in a way that makes them think they can’t live without you. For me, I let them know that I am an aggressive hunter, and I didn’t build my entire LinkedIn network of almost 30,000 connections to just stare at it. It’s a giant resource that no other company has access to and the people I find from there have over a 90% retention rate, meaning when I place someone somewhere, 9 out of 10 will end up staying for a long time. I also include that my time to fill a position is less than 30 days – most recruiting companies are 45 – 90 days if not longer. In this step, I’ve solved a couple more problems by explaining what I can offer that my competition can’t. Again, you can’t get everything out by step 2 but by now, you’ve caught their attention for a few minutes longer. (Total time for this step: 2 minutes or less)
Step 3: Call to Action. Set up a meeting right there on the spot. If you let them leave without setting one up, you’ve already risked the chances of never hearing from them again. Decision makers are always busy and always have a lot on their plate so when you can lock a day and time in right when you have them in front of you, they’re more apt to stick to the appointment and you’re more likely to make a sale. I never let a client off of the phone or out of my sight until I’ve locked them into my calendar, and I’ve sent them a calendar invite that they can accept right there. (Total time for this step: 2 minutes or less)