The elevator pitch seems to be one of those areas that everyone is an expert but no one has perfected it yet. There is all kind of advice out there on how to create your pitch. The purpose of an elevator pitch is to be able to explain your business in a short amount of time, like when you are in an elevator. I did this once years ago and I didn’t even know it was a thing. I got on to an elevator with a person that I noticed was from a prospective client’s company and told her what I did. She said it sounded interesting and for me to give her a call. She didn’t have a card but I remembered her name and called her a few days later. I got voice mail for about two months in a row until the mail box got rerouted to another person because she had left the company. I guess I didn’t do my pitch in the elevator right.
The topic came up in my UNCC Entrepreneurship class last month. This semester I decided to do the topic of “elevator pitch” a little differently. Last semester I had each student stand up in front of the class and pitch. I found that a few of the students were so terrified of the prospect of speaking in front of the class that they were losing sleep. The purpose of my class is to study entrepreneurship and not necessarily become one, although I would highly recommend it. So to make a short story much longer I decided to have my students write out their pitch by using a framework versus a script.
I can’t really tell if I have a thing against scripts or I have developed a business strategy against scripts, but when it comes to elevator pitches one size does not fit all. Sure there are things that you can use in every pitch but the outcome is you need a more agile approach to create the best response. That’s where I developed the framework.
There are five parts to the framework:
- Your name and your company – This has to be quick and a matter of a fact.
- What you are known for – This is best put from someone else’s perspective – like a customer.
- How you execute – Really Really Really brief. Most people who pitch spend way too much time on this part because it is interesting to the pitcher.
- Why you exist – You can read some previous post of “why” or “knowing your why”… Explaining why you do what you do is something that people pitching leave out, but the “why” is the reason people will buy from you.
- Call to action – If your pitch doesn’t end with a person reacting to your message you have missed the point.
Stay away from:
- Leaving your pitch to chance– you have to be prepared and you have to practice
- Use jargon or trade talk that only you know – get out of your world in tothe person you are pitching to world.
- Tell them why you like it or why you are sold on it – remember it’s the customer’s world you are trying to enter.
- Being pushy or manipulative. Those days are over.
I wanted to give you the pitch that I use that gets responses. The number represents each point of the framework. Note that I have four different calls to action depending on who I am pitching to.
My name is (1) Chris Elmore I started a company called AvidXchange. (2) AvidXchange is an accounts payable and payment automator which means we develop software that (3) sits on the front and the back of a company’s accounting system. Our software and services will digitize paper invoice coming into the accounting system and payments leaving the accounting system. The visible outcome of our offering is a paperless accounting process.
We (4) do what we do to help companies use their accounting talent in more meaningful ways because there is no more dealing with paper, data entry or filing. The most interesting aspect of our software and services is that we are able to help companies make payments thought a credit card network which creates rebates and typically eliminate all software fees.
If (5) you are looking for work we are a growing company
If you are looking to invest we have a proven track record
If you have paper in your accounting system we can help
If you want to make electronic payments and earn rebates we are the best in the world
Want to know more? Buy My Books!
To buy the book – The Argument to Automate – How Innovation Can INSPIRE Not Fire – click here to buy
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How about a children’s book? The Princess and the Paper – click here to buy
About The Author:
Christopher Elmore has written 8 books, countless articles, lectures at UNC – Charlotte and travels around the country speaking on on the topics of startup success, sales, presentation skills, change, entrepreneurship, accounts payable and payment automation. Having deep startup and entrepreneurial experience, Christopher was one of the six people that startedAvidXchange in 2000 and continues to work in the business today. If you hire Christopher to speak or teach at your company or event… you won’t be sorry! Request a media kit or contact usfor more information.