BRANDING ETIQUETTE – RULE #3: PRACTICE WHAT YOU PITCH!
Whether you are trying to raise money for your organization or just want to perfect your business strategy, a solid “elevator pitch” is an essential tool for achieving your goals. An elevator pitch should be delivered in 60 seconds or less or as a one page overview of your business. Think of your elevator pitch as a verbal executive summary that gives a quick overview of your business and details of why it’s going to be successful.
One of the key things your pitch should include is how your business is going to solve a problem. If your business does not address a problem, it is not a viable business venture. My recommendation is to strive to resolve the “W5H” questions that I typically ask during new client consultations.
Who are you? – Your name, title and company.
What do you do? – The problem that you’re solving.
Where can they find you? – Including digital and physical business locations.
When are you available for business? – Hours of operation, seasonal operation (i.e. tax preparation)
Why should customers choose you? – Address your competition. Discuss why your business is different. Consider mentioning your education or years of experience.
How? – Briefly, describe how you are going to resolve the problem.
If you can answer as many of these questions as you can within 30 seconds, you will likely impress many people at networking events, secure new customers and develop successful partnerships. But, it does not end there. You must practice what you pitch. Here are some ways to do that:
This is a three-fold process: do your research, build a brand and rehearse your pitch. Before you develop and verbalize your pitch, it is important to do your research to determine how you can answer the W5H questions to give the best first impression.
Then build a brand that visually represents and communicates your business idea. Why hook them on the pitch when you don’t have a logo, business card or website to reel them in?
Now, that you’ve done your homework and have lead with capturing brand materials, you should practice giving your pitch. Entertain your friends and family with your pitch bloopers of verbal pauses and mispronunciations. Record yourself on audio or video (the video can also be used later for marketing your brand). Rehearse until you are comfortable pitching with few mistakes to both very important individuals and large audiences.
One of the worst things you could do for your brand is give an elevator pitch that you cannot validate. If you pitch that your cleaning service passes 100-percent of home inspections, it would be in your best interest to ensure that it never drops to 99-percent. This emphasizes the importance of making realistic projections about your brand. It is also very helpful to collect testimonials that validate the consistency your brand’s reputation.
When you are prepared with a good elevator pitch and have a track record of valid and consistent customer satisfaction with your brand, you obtain a high level of confidence in your brand. This confidence impacts the way you deliver your pitch. It should become so second nature and easy to execute that you impress your audience by the articulation just as much as the content. After all, shouldn’t marketing your business be easy?
It takes time, commitment and effort to develop and deliver a great elevator pitch. It should sound the same every time you give it. People should remember how and what you say in your elevator pitch. Most importantly, your work should reflect what you say in your pitch. Don’t forget that you are your brand. Become known for keeping your word. Follow Rule 3 and Practice What You Pitch. Make Yourself.