Give me 10 minutes to read this post and you will have your roadmap to build your elevator pitch.
We can’t address elevator pitch without addressing brand. We define brand as the unique bundle of
promises (uBOP) that your company delivers to prospects and customers day in and day out—in perpetuity. It’s a promise that makes your prospect’s next-best alternative “irrelevant.” A promise that is so powerful your clients, employees, and vendors will want to tattoo your logo onto their bodies (think Harley-Davidson or NFW), or at the very least they will respect the logo on your body.
We cover brand in other posts but for now we’ll need to assume that you’ve nailed down your brand promise and that you just need to package it up into a succinct statement that you can deliver casually and at business functions.
Why do you need an elevator statement?
Well… people are busy, they’re forgetful and impatient. You must spoon feed your message to them in a way that they can hear and in a way that will resonate. We find that telling a story – all be it a very brief story is a wonderful way to convey that message…
Your story needs to be compelling, succinct and memorable. That has as much to do with the words you put on paper to guide you as it does with your delivery. Finally – the more you can make the story about the person / people you are talking to – the better.
We are going to cover three types of statements in this post. You’ll want to make sure that you deliver the right statement at the right time.
- The first statement type is a Here’s what we do type statement. You’ll use this as a foundation for your “About Statement” on your website, in your marketing materials and as the boilerplate on your press releases.
- The second statement type is one you will use at a networking event. You will embellish to make it longer or really chop it in half to be more succinct… depending on the forum. You’ll notice that the business statement includes an “ask” at the end.
- Finally, there is the “what do you do” in a social setting statement. This statement is really more casual and is created to lay the foundation for future discussion.
Below is an example of all three statements. My family and I love dogs so I created a fictitious dog food company for this exercise. Big Time Doggie Food Co. I used a silly / fun company because once you understand the framework of the statement, you’ll be able to fill in the blanks with your company details – with ease.
Let’s start with the framework. Your basic About Statement has three components:
- What we do
- How we are different
- A promise (here’s how what we do benefits you!).
First, we’re going to start at the top with “What we do” so that your audience very quickly understands that tangible thing that he/she will interact and engage with. It’s what you do.
We revolutionized the dog food company with the introduction of the Big Time Doggie Cookie…
So here your audience is thinking…!!! A dog food and a cookie – I can wrap my brain around that. And, you’ve layered a seed for your audience to think that your cookie is special! No question he/she will want to learn more.
Second, you talk about how you’re different…
Used by shelters across the United States, the nutrient dense and cost-effective Big Time Cookie has transformed the lives of over 100,000 malnourished dogs, to date. Even more dogs who have found their forever home are eating the Big Time Cookie to enhance their health, endurance and appearance.
Now your audience is thinking – wow this isn’t just any cookie. All the dogs around town are eating them and they even helping dogs that don’t have their forever homes to feel great! The take away: These cookies are cost effective and nutritious.. How cool is that.
Third, you talk about your promise and how that promise benefits your audience.
You shared with me that you have a dog. I want you to know that our entire Big Time Doggie Food Co. team is committed to providing your best friend the most nutritious, delicious, affordable and accessible dog food products in the world. We want your best friend to feel great!
Finally your audience is thinking… this is so much more than that cookie.. They are really committed to changing the way my dog – and all dogs eat!
So, you’ve told your story. You’ve connected with your audience on a practical level and you have also reached out to touch their hearts… And, no matter what you are selling – there is nothing more powerful than to own hearts and minds.
ADAPTING YOUR STATEMENT
(1) Networking event statement
You need a quick statement when people ask you what you do as your standing there with your crudité in one hand and a class of wine in the other. This is a real juggling act so be prepared. There will be times when you are at a networking event and you’re given the opportunity to stand up and talk about your business. You need a power packed statement to shine during your moment in the spotlight.
This statement format builds off of the standard About Statement that we built earlier. We adapt it in three ways.
- First, we make a connection right off the bat with a question.
- Second, we make the tone a lot more conversational – as though you are sitting in your living room with a friend.
- Third, and this is important, we include an ask at the end… We literally tell the audience how they can help, and then we tell them how we will thank them.
(2) Casual setting statement (a party, your kids soccer game, a school function)
You’re in casual conversation and, someone asks you – “Hey what do you do?”. You need to be prepared with a statement that is engaging, conversational and you’ll want to layer the foundation for future discussion by offering something.
So first we try to make a connection. In this instance we may or may not know if the person has a dog.. I would adapt the opening statement accordingly of course. We introduce what we do.. In a simple / tangible form / and how the person we’re talking to might engage with us.
We boil down how we are different and our promise into a concise sound byte. And we make it personal… And at the very end – we offer up a way to continue the dialogue by offering doggie cookie samples.
EVOLVING YOUR STATEMENT
I test my elevator statement every time the words come out of my mouth. I look at my audience in the eyes to see if what I am saying resonates with them, compels them, is memorable for them. And, I adapt accordantly – even mid statement if required!
This is your company. Ensure the words you use build your story and how you tell your story compelling. Stand out. Be bold. Make a human connection via the written word or when you share your story in person. Always establish next steps. Let people how they can help you, how they can engage with you and how they can buy from you.
I’m hopeful this framework will help you to create your own elevator statement. If you need help, contact us! We’ll be happy create it for you!