Mastering the elevator speech: how to effectively pitch your business

As a business owner, there’s nothing more important than perfecting your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a speech that describes who you are and what you do. An elevator pitch is short and sweet and should be between 30 and 60 seconds—about the amount it takes to ride an elevator. Whether you’re pitching to a major investor or trying to land your next client, it is essential to perfect your pitch. Some elements of a pitch are non-negotiable. A pitch should be clear, concise, and compelling. Here are a few tips for perfecting your elevator pitch: 

Keep It Simple 

Have you ever talked to someone about their business and, at the end of their spiel, you still didn’t understand what they did? Always keep your explanations simple when talking to someone unfamiliar with your business. Avoid confusing jargon or empty buzzwords that don’t convey what you do. Speak specifically about the problem your business is solving and how you go about doing that.

Bad example: I help companies improve their search engine optimization by conducting audits for the factors that affect on-the-page and off-page SEO, including analyzing keywords, optimizing page speeds, and cleaning on-page JavaScript and CSS.

Good example: I help companies increase revenue by improving their rankings on popular search engines, allowing them to get more leads and consequently make more sales. 

Ask for Feedback 

The best way to know if your pitch is on the right track is to test it out. Saying your pitch to multiple people will help you recognize areas where you can improve. Whether it’s your delivery or your content, practice is the best way to make progress. Test your pitch on people who are unfamiliar with your business because they’ll be able to point out parts of your pitch that are unclear or need further development. While it may be easiest to ask friends and family for feedback on your pitch, they might not be the best source. Over-familiarity with your business or bias can prevent them from giving great feedback. Asking for feedback on your pitch in the IAW community is a great place to get unbiased and constructive feedback. 

Be Persuasive 

One of the best ways to make your pitch memorable is to focus on your unique selling proposition. For example, if you’re a coach, what do you bring to your clients that no other coach can? Focusing on how you set yourself apart from your competition will help you stand out when pitching to potential clients and investors. 

Bad Example: I’m a coach that helps women find fulfillment in their professional careers.

Good Example: I’m a coach that helps women in executive leadership positions solve personal and professional challenges. As a former executive at a Fortune 500 company, I’m uniquely positioned to help them identify and solve problems. I use the GROW coaching model to help my clients find alignment between professional success and personal fulfillment. 

Update Your Pitch

Have you added a new service? Changed your ideal client profile? If so, it may be time to update your pitch. As your business adapts and grows, your pitch should reflect those changes. It makes sense to revisit your pitch a couple of times a year to make sure it still actively reflects your business offering. 

When it comes to pitching your business, make sure your pitch is practiced and perfected. You never know when you’ll meet someone who can take your business to the next level. Crafting a pitch that is simple, persuasive, and clear will help you land your next client, investor, or partnership.

For more tips on the trade, IAW member Diana Wang has a FREE resource on how to support women in e-commerece. She is the of, the number one cross-border B2B e-commerce marketplace in China. It connects global suppliers to global buyers and, now over a decade old, it has accumulated over twelve million global buyers from 230 countries and regions. Plus, over one million sellers offer forty-plus million products over the site.

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