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4 Steps To Spruce Up Your Elevator Pitch And Seal The Deal With Investors


Building a business means seeking and getting funding, whether it’s saving up independently or pitching to potential investors. And if you’re pitching to investors, you need to come up with exactly what to say when the opportunity presents itself. So, it’s time to create or revamp your elevator pitch. But wait—what is an elevator pitch, and how do you create one? Let’s get into it.

What Is An Elevator Pitch?

First things first, what exactly is an elevator pitch? An elevator pitch is a quick overview of you and your business. But, why the heck is it called an elevator pitch? Because it should be short enough to cover all the basics in the time it takes to go from one floor to the destination floor in an elevator. In other words, it’s time to figure out how to sell your business in 30 to 60 seconds, tops.

Steps To Refresh Your Elevator Pitch

I believe in using the elevator pitch as a great opportunity to earn a second conversation. To get your elevator pitch just right, you can’t wing it or skimp on the preparation. So, take a look at the four key parts of how to sell your business in your elevator pitch and bring in investors.

1. Be Brief, But Persuasive

Ask any of my co-workers, and they’ll tell you that I love to talk. I share stories and try to connect. But, an elevator pitch is not the time to expound and share anecdotes. Instead, cut to the quick and briefly explain your business, what you have to offer, and why it’s a good investment. And, remember to be persuasive.

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You have less than a minute to rope your audience in during your pitch. So, find the most compelling parts of your business and use them to your advantage.

Don’t be so brief that you forget to start with your name, though. No one wants to listen to a whole pitch thinking, “Who’s this guy?” And don’t worry! Your name doesn’t have to count toward the pitch itself. Instead, introduce yourself, start a conversation, and then pitch.

When you present your speech, stay positive and upbeat. Part of being persuasive is knowing exactly what you have to offer and why your solution is the right one. Spark the listener’s interest with something you find the most compelling about your business (or something other people tell you is the most interesting).

And, don’t forget to present the problem and your solution. Persuade your audience to your side by letting them know the problem your business solves and how it does it. Do you have a value proposition for your business? Now is the time to present it because your unique value proposition helps persuade potential investors to see the benefits of your business.

After the investor sees the problem, solution, and value of your business, it’s time to…

2. Share Your Skills

When it comes to asking people to believe in you so much they offer up their hard-earned cash, you need to seal the deal with more than promises.

When I pitched to private investors, I knew part of my talk had to include why they could have faith in me. My skills, knowledge, and entrepreneurial experience added to my argument for why my business was a worthwhile investment.

So, you need to share your skills, too. After all, your skills are what make your proposition worth investing in. Would you trust a veterinarian with replumbing your house without the paperwork to prove they’re up to the task? Probably not. Your skills let investors know that you have the knowledge and ability to get the job done.

Focus on the assets that add value to your speech. You can brag a little bit at this point, but don’t sound boastful. Back up accomplishments with cold, hard numbers. Those are just the facts, folks, and something that can be very compelling.

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3. Keep It Simple

Now that you know exactly what parts of your business you want to focus on and what skills you should share, it’s time to condense it and keep it simple.

There are a few dos and don’ts for keeping it simple. To make sure your pitch is simple, do:

  • Sound conversational
  • Answer the “So what?” questions
  • Use layman’s terms
  • Pay attention to the listener

To avoid making your pitch more complicated, do not:

  • Use jargon or industry acronyms
  • Ramble during your speech
  • Sound like an infomercial
  • Continue if your listener disengages from the conversation

Again, you have about 30 seconds to pitch yourself to investors. That’s about 75 words to get your point across. An elevator pitch is conversational, informative, persuasive, answers all questions it poses, and uses easy-to-understand language. You can shorten your pitch to the bare essentials and still sell your idea by keeping it simple.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice

Once you know what to say and how to say it, it’s time to practice. Write down your elevator pitch and memorize it. Then, take the time to rehearse your pitch:

  • On the drive to work
  • In front of the bathroom mirror
  • For co-workers who know your business
  • In front of friends and family

Rehearse your pitch until you know it by heart, and practice until it comes out like a natural part of the conversation. Memorize what you want to say without sounding like you rehearsed it for days (or weeks) until it comes out just right.

And, remember that you may need to have multiple elevator pitches prepared and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Why? Because a potential investor you meet at a local networking event requires a different approach than a friend or family member who already knows you. Again, each pitch should be:

  • Brief, yet persuasive
  • An outline of your skills and knowledge
  • Simple
  • Practiced

Whether you’re pitching to people you know, like we did in the beginning at my accounting software and payroll company, Patriot Software, or to huge investors (eg, venture capitalist vs. angel investor), be prepared. After all, your elevator pitch can be the opening of a golden opportunity.

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