How To Craft The Perfect Pitch

What is an Elevator Pitch?

It is your 5-10 word statement on your business and is most often used when someone asks you the stock standard question “what do you do?” The biggest mistake most people make is they respond too literal when asked this question. They respond by saying “I’m an accountant, I’m a web designer, I’m a chef”. Not exciting! Instead you should be saying, if you are an accountant, “I make my clients ridiculously wealthy or I dramatically reduce people’s tax bills!”

A pitch is often referred to as your ‘elevator’ pitch. Imagine you’re in an elevator with a potential client and you have 30-60 seconds to tell that person about yourself and your business. Most elevator pitches are too long, miss the mark, and are often product features instead of business benefits.
Your elevator pitch must cover 9 key criteria. I heard of this technique from Chris O’Leary in his book ‘Elevator Pitch Essentials – How to Craft an Effective Elevator Pitch’. Here is a summary of the 9 key criteria that Chris calls ‘The 9 C’s’:

1. Concise – An effective elevator pitch contains as few words as possible, but no fewer.
2. Clear - Rather than being filled with acronyms, MBA-speak, and ten-dollar words, an effective elevator pitch can be understood by your grandparents, your spouse, and your children.
3. Compelling – An effective elevator pitch explains the problem your Solution solves.
4. Credible – An effective elevator pitch explains why you are qualified to see the problem and to build your Solution.
5. Conceptual – An effective elevator pitch stays at a fairly high level and does not go into too much unnecessary detail.
6. Concrete - As much as is possible, an effective elevator pitch is also specific and tangible.
7. Consistent – Every version of an effective elevator pitch conveys the same basic message.
8. Customized – An effective elevator pitch addresses the specific interests and concerns of the audience
9. Conversational – Rather than being to close the deal, the goal of an elevator pitch is to just set the hook; to start a conversation, or dialogue, with the audience.

For example, here is my elevator pitch: “ I teach people how to Create Wealth Online promoting Gold and Silver using video marketing.
Okay, so how did I come up with my ‘perfect pitch’? Here is the strategy I used:

Step 1: Brainstorm
Brainstorm a list of phrases that describe you and cross off any clichés or catch phrases. Keep only the most unique and honest statements.
Step 2: Craft a description
Write the pitch like you speak. This will make it easier to deliver and make it sound more authentic.
Step 3: Practice!
Practice your pitch on friends and family. Ask for feedback and adjust your pitch. It will become natural by doing it over and over. Use a mirror to pitch yourself. If you can’t look yourself in the eye, how can you engage someone else?
Step 4: Plaster it everywhere

You want to make sure that all your communication messages contain your pitch, including the following:
• Website
• Email footer
• Brochures
• Business cards
• Social media profiles
• In person
• Staff training and handbook

Summary
Now it’s your turn! Take these steps and apply them to your business. It may seem a little daunting to start with but once you start, you’ll get on a roll and before you know it; your pitch will be rolling off your tongue with charisma, confidence and clarity.

Feel free to tell us your “Elevator Pitch” below.Thanks for commenting!

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51 Responses to “How To Craft The Perfect Pitch”

  1. Loic Says:

    I don’t have an elevator pitch yet but i guess i will work on it right away. I didn’t know i need one till i read your article. Sounds good. It will definitely be a good thing to have a pitch anytime i am asked the question about what i do.

    Thanks for the advice
    Loic
    Loic recently posted..Hi- you are warmly welcome to the “Insulated Dog House” website

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  2. Michael B Wilbraham Says:

    WOW! Beverly, that just hit me right between the eyes. I’ve never really had cause to have an “elevator pitch”, but now I can see why I SHOULD have one.

    I can see a couple of sleepless nights coming up – trying to come up with a great one for myself. Maybe my wife can give me a few pointers as to who & what I am!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Michael
    Michael B Wilbraham recently posted..Network Marketing Leaders Are Out In Front – Are You

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  3. Julie Elliott Says:

    Great post Beverly, This is one area I know I need to work on. Thank you so much for sharing this great information you found and work with. Your absolutely right about how you have to make a great pitch to catch other attention in what you do. I will take your suggestions and work on that this weekend. Thank you.
    Julie Elliott recently posted..The Power Of A Orgainized Life

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  4. Kara Grabenhorst Says:

    Beverly this is really great information. I have an elevator pitch but after reading this, I recognize a couple of tweaks I can make to improve it. This is very helpful thanks for sharing!

    ~Kara
    Kara Grabenhorst recently posted..Work At Home …Why Would You Do That

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  5. Christine Casey Says:

    Hi Beverly,

    This is one of those business things that I have struggled with, so greatly appreciate the post & the step-by-step for how to create an elevator speech. :-)

    Christine
    Christine Casey recently posted..How do you use Facebook

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  6. Theuns Says:

    Hi Beverly

    Thanks a lot for your good info.

    you did help me and i Copy and past your
    blog into a word file to learn from you
    and apply.

    Regards
    Theuns

    Reply

  7. Peter Fuller MBA Says:

    Hello Beverley, that is a fantastic elevator pitch.

    Concise and truthful.

    Now I am off to work on mine.
    Peter Fuller MBA recently posted..Why Are You Making It So Hard For Me To Share Your Content

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  8. Internet Marketing Kris Says:

    Hey Beverley,

    Great post. I thought I would share a link to a friends site that helps create the perfect elevator pitch. http://www.15secondpitch.com/ I have used this myself to create mine, and it really drives down the process to a simple step by step process! Keep up the great work.
    Best
    Kris Pauly
    Internet Marketing Kris recently posted..Is Google Aware of your Efforts

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  9. Bryan Gira Says:

    Great Post Beverly,

    we learned this very important ‘lesson’ in Real Estate 101 and it holds true in every facet of relationship building.

    You only get one chance to make a good first impression and never a better time to ‘engage’ a contact. Creativity and wit grab attention so much better than just a ‘straight’ answer.

    Thank you again for the great ‘message’ and the super duper video as well.

    Bryan
    Bryan Gira recently posted..Hey- We Really Need To Talk!

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  10. Eddie Espiritu Says:

    We all need a short “pitch” ready to go when someone asks us what we do. The key is to say something that creates curiosity so the person will ask us for more information. You give some excellent tips on how to do this in this post. Great content!
    Eddie Espiritu recently posted..Start Up Capital – 11 Ideas to Join or Grow a Business

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  11. Don Enck Says:

    Hi Beverly,
    A great elevator pitch is truly a piece of art. It’s one that I’ve had several of for various things I’ve done in my life. And often, it’s always being tweaked and changed to attempt to get it just right. I think the biggest thing that you mentioned is that it has to be practiced. You have to be ready for the time when you least expect it that someone out of the clear blue asks…”so what do you do?”

    Thanks for sharing these tips.
    Don Enck recently posted..How To Opt Out of Facebook Places

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  12. Debbie Wood Says:

    Hey Beverly, great advice here and, as always, a great video. The elevator pitch is something that everyone needs, but very few actually have. There’s nothing worse that asking someone what they do for a living and picking through the files in your mind to try to figure out what to say.

    Hmmm, that’s usually what I do!! We’ll guess I better get to work on my elevator speech.
    Debbie Wood recently posted..Ebook Mechanics – How to Create Ebook Content 101

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  13. Debbie Stevens Says:

    Hi Beverly,

    I have to chime in with the others and agree that this post is very valuable. I especially tuned in to the concise part. I recently heard someone in marketing say that now because of the 140 characters of Twitter, Linked in, etc. that an elevator speech may now be too long. What do you think?
    Debbie Stevens recently posted..We Only Have This Moment- Today

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  14. Tim Somers Says:

    Beverly – I attended a workshop on this – you really have 13-15 seconds to to reel them in so to speak, after that all they hear is that Charlie Brown teacher talk “Wah wah woh wah wah” Great Post!
    Tim Somers recently posted..Direct Mail Marketing Using Greeting Cards

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  15. Andrew Sayers Says:

    Hi Beverly,

    Thanks for the advice. I’m new to being in front of a camera and I’m still getting over the ‘oh look there’s a red light and a microphone and I’ve lost the power of fluent speech’ phase. But I’m getting there slowly. I think getting the tone of the pitch is important. As you rightly, say – and I really laughed at the vomit comment, I can see how that wouldn’t work! – you can’t go straight for it. A little curiosity goes a long way.

    Thanks again,

    Andrew
    Andrew Sayers recently posted..Get Your Mind in Gear

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  16. Kathy Jodrey Says:

    Hey Bev,

    Great instructions here. After many years in the business this is something that often seems to elude me!

    I had never considered adding an elevator pitch to my other forms of content….great tip. Thanks for all the value you add!
    Kathy Jodrey recently posted..Team Building Ideas- Tribe Style – Summer Scenery Series 6

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  17. Wendy Hewlett Says:

    I agree with everyone that this is very valuable advice … thank you! Like everyone else, I will be spending some time honing my elevator pitch. It is so important to generate their interest … make them want to learn more.

    Thanks very much for this Beverly!

    Wendy
    Wendy Hewlett recently posted..Creating Facebook Lists

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  18. Deb Augur Says:

    Hi Beverly,

    You did a fabulous job laying out the steps to crafting an elevator pitch. It’s such an important thing to get right and be comfortable with to the point that you can repeat it with ease and conviction.

    I took John Carlton’s Copywriting Course earlier this year and that was one of the first tasks he gave us to complete. It was very helpful to get input from my coach and get it down as compelling as possible. (Funny, I even wrote about it in my current blog post!)

    Your steps are a great way to get it down right. We need to really think it through! This “introduction” to what we do is how we can open doors to new business.
    Deb Augur recently posted..It’s Great Copywriting that Sells

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  19. Gary Young- China Sourcing Says:

    OK, my elevator speech.- “We help companies source products and services in China” and another one I like is “We are the source of your success in China”

    Boring? Intriguing?
    Gary Young- China Sourcing recently posted..Links for 2010-09-07 delicious

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  20. Denise Says:

    Hi Beverly,

    You’ve just reminded me that I need to re-think about my elevator pitch since rebranding my website.

    When you think about it, people have been answering the question, ‘what do you do?’ wrong for years.

    When they answer with i’m an accountant, lawyer, shop assistant etc…, they’re actually saying what they ARE rather than saying what they DO.

    Of course, when they answer in this way, we usually know what their job entails but if you take it literally, they aren’t realy answering the question!

    Thanks for the reminder :)

    Denise
    Denise recently posted..Does The ‘Comfort Zone’ Really Exist

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  21. Terry Petrovick Says:

    Great info Beverly!

    It is key to remember in all our communications to think and speak in terms of benefits to our prospects. This more than anything will attract people to us.

    Thanks for the reminder,

    Terry
    Terry Petrovick recently posted..How to attract High-Quality Facebook MLM Leads

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  22. Peter Fuller MBA Says:

    Excellent post and video Beverly

    I have three elevator pitches ready to go when I need them, targeted to who I am speaking to.

    Peter
    Peter Fuller MBA recently posted..Are You Making This Mistake When Setting Your Goals

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  23. Faith Barnard Says:

    Beverly,

    Your post is very timely. I am on my way to San Diego for a writers conference. I know having a powerful and compelling elevator pitch will be key to making quality connections.

    I’m going to copy and paste this post and review it over and over. Plus of course practice my pitch.

    Thank you for such great content and value. I am also a fellow TF fan and user.

    Faith
    Faith Barnard recently posted..Your Circle of Success in Network Marketing

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  24. Dan Johnson/ TSA Says:

    Hey nice blog post. Big Al (Tom Schrieter) has talked about having an elevator speech for years. Check out his blog, lots of great one liners.

    Reply

  25. Tommy DiPietro | MLM Sales Says:

    Hi Beverly,

    This is exactly what I needed. This is really great information
    that I will definitely use. Going to print it out and get to work
    on it.

    When I have my elevator pitch ready to go, I will definitely come back and let you know :)

    Thank you Beverly!!

    Have a great one!
    Tommy D.
    Tommy DiPietro | MLM Sales recently posted..Sunday Funday When There Does Not Have To Be An MLM Sales Strategy Everyday

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    • Beverly Says:

      I believe once you master your Perfect Pitch then it will sound correct as well as just flow from your mouth without hesitation. I have heard some great ones and truthfully I still tweek mine.Thanks for commenting.

      Reply

  26. Joe Malinowski Says:

    Great tips! I think the most exciting part of branding and networking is when you have built such an extensive network that you can focus 100X more on the people you meet rather than worry about what they know about your business.

    The part I hate most about networking is talking about myself. After running networking events and organization for 5 years this is the one of the biggest things I learned about myself.

    While growing your network and building your brand the bigger and stronger of a reputation you can build yourself the better, obviously. But, that is when the massive growth begins!

    Thanks for sharing!! Have a great day!

    Joe
    Joe Malinowski recently posted..4 Steps to Enhance Your Business’s Social Networking

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    • Beverly Says:

      Thanks Joe. I appreciate the great comment.Building your brand and reputation is important when working online. People get to know you by how much you give and help others.

      Reply

  27. Terje Says:

    A good article.

    This is my Elevator Speech:

    “An internet entrepreneur and personal development coach who loves mountaineering, scuba diving, litterature, people, being inspired, and just enjoying life!”

    And this is my own blog post about the same topic: http://terjegranum.com/internet_marketing/the-viking-elevator-pitch/
    Terje recently posted..Why Did The Average Viking Fail At MLM Network Marketing

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  28. Wendy Hewlett Says:

    Great tips Beverly! I have yet to craft mine officially and all of the advice you offer in this post will go a long way towards creating an ‘elevator pitch’ that is just right.

    Your blog is loading unusually slow. You may want to investigate why. I think it was Rob Franta who recently wrote a post on the load speed of your website and how to improve it.

    Wendy
    Wendy Hewlett recently posted..How to Increase Sales by Listening

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  29. Trevor Says:

    Hi Beverly, this is so true.I never thought about it until now.What do you say when someone ask you what do you do.I need help to condense my response and focus on my solutions to their problems. Great advice Beverly thank you Trevor

    Reply

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