Why You Need 4 Different Versions of Your Elevator Pitch
As an entrepreneur you have probably been told that you need to be prepared at any moment to recite your elevator pitch. The problem is that one elevator pitch is not right for every situation. In fact, there are at least 4 situations that might require a different version of your pitch.
- The Classic Elevator Pitch – The idea of an elevator speech is your 1 minute pitch to Bill Gates if you happened to have him alone in an elevator. Bill asks you what you do, and you have 10 floors to explain to him why your business deserves a small $10 million dollar investment from him.
- The Dinner Party Pitch - Let’s say you are at a dinner party and everyone is taking turns explaining what they do for a living. This is clearly not the time or place to pitch your business as a potential investment. You simply need a couple sentences to explain your business as simply as possible.
- The Board Room Presentation – You might be asked to pitch your company in front of a group of potential investors. In this situation you may even have a pitch deck with a handful of slides to present your unique selling proposition, market potential, management team and financial projections. Fortunately you will typically be given time to prepare in advance for this type of pitch.
- The Networking Event Pitch – Entrepreneurs who understand networking know that networking is about the other person. You should be asking questions and making connections, not pitching your products or services. But you will probably be asked what you do at some point, so it is important to be ready with a brief explanation that may intrigue the other person to ask more questions.
You might think you have an elevator pitch ready, but you really need to think about how your pitch should vary in different situations. You don’t want to waste an opportunity with a potential investor or client, but you also don’t want to embarrass your spouse at your next Holiday party by announcing your company’s core competencies, market potential, and business model. So take half an hour to sit down and perfect your elevator speech for these four situations before it is too late.
Author Bio: Adam Hoeksema is the Co-Founder of ProjectionHub which is a web application that helps entrepreneurs create a full set of financial projections without the need to have a Phd in spreadsheet modeling.