Your startup is your baby and you know it inside and out. However, there will be plenty of times when you need to explain to others your value proposition and what you do, and you must have a convincing, succinct way of doing so. As you grow your startup, you’ll have multiple chances to convince investors, partners, and customers to work with you. In some cases, you may even get a chance to do so in person. This is where your startup’s ‘elevator speech’ becomes essential. Meant to be delivered during a normal elevator ride of less than a minute, an elevator pitch should not only briefly convey what you do, but it should also pique the interest of the listener enough to seek out more information.
Whether you are actually in a VC meeting room or have a chance to meet a potential partner at an event, your pitch needs to shine. Here are four growth hacking tips on crafting an effective elevator pitch that gets the job done.
Have a Rock-Solid Value Proposition
During your startup development process, you likely created a value prop(osition) that conveys the business challenge that your new product or service helps to solve and how. Your value prop needs to be at the core of your elevator pitch, and it needs to be convincing.
When parking app JustPark won the Pitch to Rich contest with Richard Branson, they focused on why parking was a pricey and time-consuming nightmare, and how their app could make parking a breeze. They even name-dropped BMW—a key partner—in their elevator pitch, and this lent instant credibility to their value prop.
Startup consultants also encourage incorporating a path to revenue in your value prop. If you are pitching to an investor or potential partner, they need to immediately see how working with you will generate money. Don’t be afraid to use numbers, market landscape facts, and competitive analysis to quickly get down to the nuts and bolts of your revenue model, and why it will be successful.
Combine Passion with Proof
Startup owners are passionate about what they do and conveying this to your listener is essential in your elevator pitch. When you briefly tell your own story about how and why you started the company, your passion should shine through and make an impact on the person that you pitch to. Most investors want to be inspired by a company they invest in, so it’s vital that you inject into your elevator pitch a healthy dose of heart.
However, any growth hacking expert will tell you that passion by itself is not enough. You also need to back it up with statistics, testimonials, and hard facts that can be verified. Presentation software startup Slidebean, for example, utilizes the previous three months’ average growth in market share in their elevator pitch. This not only acts as proof of their model, but also hints at continued growth in the future.
Know When to Stop and End with a Call to Action (CTA)
It can be easy to ramble and get out of control when you give your pitch. The goal of an elevator speech is to leave the listener wanting more, which is why brevity is essential. You should also look for visual cues of boredom, disinterest, or impatience in your audience. If you see they’re itching to get away from you, it’s time to wrap things up quickly. Try to leave a short time cushion for any questions, then end the conversation with a business card and a call to action (CTA). For example, you might say, “check out our website for some more great statistics on our growth,” or “I’ll be in town until Monday if you’d like to grab a drink and talk more.”
An effective elevator pitch will help you attract valuable business partners, investors and new customers, which can ultimately take your startup to the next level quickly. If you’d like startup expert help on developing your elevator pitch, book a meeting with one of Promeets’ experts, and don’t miss our fireside chat with Bill Reichert—one of the most prominent VCs in Silicon Valley and Co-Founder of Garage Technology—on September 6, 2017. You may even get a chance to pitch your startup to Bill!