An elevator pitch is a brief speech introducing you and your business. Most home based business owners use the speech when they are meeting new people. It is called an elevator pitch because you should be able to recite it in the time it takes to move from one floor to another on an elevator and still have time to get a response from the person with whom you are conversing. Though the speech may rarely be given on an elevator, the point is to keep it brief and still be able to explain your business to another person. An elevator pitch is a great marketing tool to get people interested in what you do and to break the ice on a conversation with a new person. All home based business owners should have an elevator pitch they are comfortable using when a situation arises.
So how do you go about creating an elevator pitch for your home based business? And what do you need in an elevator pitch? The best speeches contain the more important information about the goals you have for your home based business, but rarely last more than a minute or so. They trigger conversation about your business and encourage the listener to ask questions. How do you craft a great elevator pitch and use it to your advantage when you own a home based franchise? It might take awhile to create your speech, but once you do it will make speaking with new people much easier. Here are some tips for a great elevator pitch:
Getting to Know You
Your speech should begin with information about you. Tell the person your name and where you are from. Share some personal information if it seems relevant. For instance, if you are speaking with someone at your child’s school, talk about your children and what classes they attend at the school. Other personal information you can share includes whether or not you are new to an area, what your affiliation is with your current location, or something you have in common with the person involved in the conversation. You might both shop at the same market or visit the same doctor.
This personal part of your elevator pitch accomplishes two things. First, it shows you are not just pushing your business and you have an interest in speaking with the other person. This establishes trust because they do not feel as if you are just trying to sell them something. Second, finding common ground establishes a connection. This further builds trust, but it also makes the conversation interesting for the other person. If you have something in common, they have a stake in what you are talking about.
Once you have established a personal connection, you can move on to talking about your home based franchise. This is the meat of your elevator pitch and should be the longest part. If you are dealing strictly in a business situation, it might be the only part. There are some circumstances in which it is appropriate to cut out the personal part of the speech and skip directly to the heart of things about business.
This is the part of the speech where you talk about what you do. It should include the basics of your home based franchise, such as the name and how long you have been in business. It can include a general statement about the business, such as the industry or the size. Lastly, it should include a summary of your business goals. An example of these three components would be, “My business is ABC Cakes. We’re a local cake shop with three employees and we create cakes for private parties and corporate events. Our cakes are made from only organic ingredients, most of which are from local sources.” You have given a clear indication of what your business does and shared your specific goal of creating organic cakes. In just a few seconds, you have communicated a great deal about your business.
Making it about the Other Person
To really enhance your elevator pitch, you need to do more than just give information about your business. You need to tie what you are saying into the person with whom you are speaking. This is what sparks their interest, even more than the personal connection you made at the beginning. You can do this a few different ways.
If you know something about the person with whom you are speaking, you can include something about your business you know would appeal to them. For instance, if you are talking to someone about your home based franchise that bakes cakes, ABC Cakes, and you know that person works in a large office and is responsible for supplying food for office events, you could say, “Businesses love using our cakes for their special events because they are healthier than non-organic cakes. When you are hosting office birthdays and retirements on a regular basis, you want to offer the healthiest option possible.” This gives the person a specific reason to be interested in your cakes.
If less is known about the person, you can end your elevator pitch with a question. Just a basic question such as, “Is this something that interests you?” or “Do you have a need for organic cakes?” might be enough. You can also create a more thought-provoking question. For example, “Have you ever considered the benefit of eating organic baked goods?” Their answer will give you an opportunity to go into further detail about your products or services and why they are better than other options.
There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to creating the perfect elevator pitch. What you need to say will vary depending on your business. Some elevator pitches will be longer than others. The point is to spark interest in your business and have a tool at your disposal that allows you to speak in an organized manner. Nothing is worse than being asked what you do for a living and stumbling through a five minute explanation about your daily routine.