When you are in business, life is one big and constant pitch. Even when you are not stood up in front of the room at that networking meeting, you are still pitching. Everyone you talk to could be a potential customer, or if not, recommend you to someone who is, so what you say counts. How you say it is equally important, since people buy from people they like, and also make decisions on the basis of both logic and emotion.
The traditional concept of the “elevator pitch” is what you would say to a potential customer if you found yourself in a lift with them and only had thirty seconds of their time. Under such time pressure, the temptation is to cram in as much as we can about what we have to offer, in the hope that some of it will stick. This strategy may work if someone is already thinking about buying what you have to offer, and know they need it, but what if they might be interested, but don’t know they need it yet?
In this case, you will need to create the need, and do it quickly and effectively, so here come your 5 top tips for pitching your business:
- Make it about them, not you. What problem is it they might have that your product or service solves? Ask them if they have ever experienced this problem
- Create the value – Ask them how it feels to not be able to solve that problem. Ask them how it would feel to have the problem solved, right now. Ask them how much the problem is currently costing them
- Now tell them what would solve it, and introduce your product or service
- Introduce yourself – we have left this bit until last because now you have something they need, your name is more interesting than it was at the beginning of the pitch – and make your offer. Make it a no brainer – what would make them buy it now?
- Ask for the sale!
So there we have it – 5 top tips for pitching your business. You may be wondering how on earth you fit that into 30 seconds, and it’s entirely possible. It can certainly be done within a minute, if you plan it out and rehearse it. All that’s left then is to deliver the pitch with confidence. If you have any fear at all around pitching your business to others, then you’re not alone, since fear of public speaking (glossophobia) is the second biggest fear in the UK. The good news, though, is that there are many simple techniques out there, many used by professional actors, speakers and sports people, which you can use to channel your nerves and perform well under pressure.