Kimberly Davis: How to prepare your elevator pitch

Smarta was lucky enough to attend the first in Davis' new event series: Marketing Masters back in January. The Marketng Foundations event was a great introduction to marketing for new and growing businesses.

Here are Davis' top tips for creating an elevator pitch:

1. KISS

This wonderful acronym stands for 'Keep it simple, stupid'. You don't want to bore people into submission with your elevator pitch - you want to fire up their interest to learn more. Nothing switches people off like jargon, so if your pitch contains any of the following words: 'solution'; 'offering'; or 'SaaS', drop them.

2. Short and sweet

Your elevator pitch should be the Dudley Moore of business summaries: short and a little quirky. No more than a few punchy sentences will suffice. Remember: this is just a taster of what it is that you do.

3. Reverse pyramid order

Like news writing, your pitch should be organised in order of importance. The most important aspect of your business should come first. Do you have the biggest network in your sector? The widest range of products? Think about what potential customers really want to hear, and give that priority.

4. Dangle the carrot

Don't give it all away at once, folks. Be intriguing. Get them to want to know more. Hold back a little nugget of information that gives your sales guy something to talk about down the line. You need to give up just enough information to prompt people to formulate their own questions.

5. Try this easy exercise

Here's how you put together your elevator speech. Work out the following about your business. The: Who; What; When; Where; Why; and How. Your first draft may be a little long. More soliloquy than elevator pitch. You need to simplify it down. Be hard-nosed about this: No more than five words for each section.

From these five key words in each answer, you can begin to weave together your pitch. Apply the first four points to the finished product and bingo!

You know you've got your elevator pitch right when you can say it in two sentences and the person you say it to can walk away and confidently explain to someone else what you do. If they can't, then you need to start again.

On March 15, Kim is back with the second instalment of her Marketing Masters series: Social media for business. Smarta has wangled a 30% discount for its readers (Thanks, Kim!). Just use code: SMART30 when purchsing your ticket.

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