You’ve probably heard of the “elevator pitch” before. But do you have one? If someone asked right now: “what do you do?”, would you be able to give a quick, concise, engaging answer? If not, it’s time to develop an elevator pitch that will get your message across in a few simple words, and make a lasting impression on whoever you just met.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch is there to introduce yourself, your company, product or service quickly and compellingly. The goal is to keep it around 20-30 seconds long, so just short enough for an elevator ride… hence the name.

This article outlines five steps to follow in order to craft a highly effective elevator pitch that is guaranteed to get you noticed and remembered.

  1. Identify and Examine Your Goal

Ask yourself the following questions to get a clear idea of what exactly you want to accomplish with your elevator pitch.

  •         Do I want to introduce my organization?
  •         Do I want to promote my newest product to a potential customer?
  •         Do I want to describe my current job, what I do and the skills I have?

Your answer will determine the information you communicate and the details your share. Once you have decided what kind of elevator pitch you want to formulate, move onto the next step.

  1. Explain What You Do

Whatever your elevator pitch goal is, you need to explain what you, your company, product or service does. People want to know what the goal of your organization is and what you are doing to achieve it. Explain briefly what kind of problems you solve with your work, how you help your clients and what are the benefits are of working with you. Doing this properly will ultimately answer the most important questions that people have when they meet you, especially in a business setting, and that’s “what can you do for me?”.

By giving some extra information such as statistics, you create extra credibility and make it easier for people to understand the effectiveness of your work. An example of this would be to highlight by how many percentage points you decreased on your customer’s website’s bounce rate, and explain how much you helped them boost sales.

  1. Your Unique Selling Proposition

What is special about you, what makes your company unique, and what sets your product apart from your competitors’? You should already have a clear idea of that. Try to boil it down to a short, catchy statement that will stand out to your audience.

If you have an innovative approach, a new idea or an uncommon solution to a problem of theirs, you are sure to catch and hold their attention. Showing them why you are different and how you can benefit them will greatly increase your ability to stay in their mind because it answers their most basic question: how can this help me?

  1. End with a Question

Once you’ve shared all the important details about what you do, it’s time to show some interest in the other person. Ask an open-ended question (one that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no) related to your work.

An example of this would be inquiring how they deal with the issue that they are currently solving for  clients. This will get them thinking about how you might help them do it better. If you’ve impressed them with your pitch, this is the time where they might consider asking for a quote or your conditions for a collaboration. Even if your question doesn’t generate a lead immediately, it still shows your interest in them and their company.

  1. Practice, Practice and Practice Again

The perfect elevator pitch is not written in five minutes. Expect to put some time into it and give it some thought. Often it will be the first impression you make when meeting a new acquaintance and therefore significantly impact your future relationship with them. Your elevator pitch can essentially make or break your business because it will have  a strong influence on how people perceive you and the work you do.

Once you are satisfied with your draft, practice it. First by yourself, then with people close to you. Friends, family and business associates can be great assets to bounce your pitch off of. They can give you valuable pointers and help you improve areas that are unclear, too long , short, or irrelevant.

Practicing will make it come naturally next time you need to introduce yourself and you will be sure to make a great impression by laying out the groundwork beforehand and establishing a long and beneficial relationship.