Aim for a conversation not a monologue with this two-step approach
[Elevator Pitch: A short summary used to quickly and simply define a profession, product, service, organization, or event and its value proposition in answer to the question "What do you do?" (The name "elevator pitch" reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately 30 seconds to two minutes.]
These days, elevator pitches are almost as common as cell phones in high school. Business training classes teach them. New employees are indoctrinated with the company pitch. Networking groups promote their practice on a regular basis. So...we get it and our pitches are attracting more interest and sales are skyrocketing, right? Well, maybe not.
Make It Quick
The trouble is, most are far too long - and predictably dull. So although the person hearing the pitch feigns polite attention, you can see their eyes glaze over and their brain disconnect. It's difficult to try to ride a 30 to 120 second "infomercial" to business victory when the average attention span has decreased from 13 seconds in 2013, to merely 8 seconds today. [Note: Just to put that 8 second figure in context, the attention span of a goldfish has been measured at 9 seconds.]
Make It Intriguing
Instead, I advocate keeping your pitches to only a few seconds. Three to six seems about right. Your statement should not only be exceedingly brief, it should be engaging, intriguing and thought-provoking, with just a little mystery thrown in. The Better Elevator Pitch is designed to elicit a specific response from the listener. A response that asks, in essence, "How do you do that?"
Make It Elicit A Response
Once you get a response, you can answer it with a slightly longer explanation/unique value proposition designed to elicit a second response, essentially "Tell me more". And now you're off to the races. For your edification and amusement, here are three samples - an insurance agent, a baker, and (ahem!) me, your above-average marketing guy.
- WDYD?: "I protect your family from financial ruin!"
- HDYDT?: "With over 40 insurance-based products I can custom-tailor just for you."
- WDYD?: "I fill your mouth with joy"
- HDYDT?: "With 23 scrumptious and unique cupcakes and tarts I bake fresh every day!"
- WDYD?: "I help increase sales without increasing your marketing budget!"
- HDYDT?: "I created a highly effective 5-step marketing system that shows you how to create and articulate your unique message."
Now it's your turn. Go out and develop your own Better Elevator Pitch and let the conversations begin.