If the span of a short elevator ride was all that stood between you and selling to your dream client, investor, or partner on your business, what would you say?

That's the idea behind an "elevator pitch" — a short, persuasive speech that allows you to explain the essence of your business in less than a minute. You never know who you're going to run into, or where, so a smart entrepreneur needs to have their sound bite ready!

How to Craft Your Elevator Pitch
The key to delivering an effective elevator pitch is to keep it clear, concise and bold. Your potential investor, client or partner has probably heard a million pitches, so you have to make yours memorable.

Start by communicating your value proposition — clearly identifying the problem that your company solves or the need that it addresses. Why should they work with you, and not the competition? What sets you apart? Keep your language innovative and avoid using cliché buzzwords (think "revolutionary" or "groundbreaking").

Delivery is crucial. You want to sound polished, but not overly rehearsed. Develop key points and practice conveying your message in different ways, so you're ready to adapt to any situation you may find yourself in. Ask your friends and family to listen to your pitch and make adjustments based on their feedback.

Elevator Pitch to Investors vs. Clients vs. Partners
Be aware that a potential investor may not be attracted to the same things as a potential client or partner. Keep in mind who your listener is and what they need to hear in order to want to invest time, money, and attention in your company. With an investor, be prepared to talk about things like market size, demand, projected earnings, and what your company alone can accomplish or provide. When you pitch to clients, emphasize why your product or service is necessary for them. When you pitch to partners, talk about why you would make a good team, and what you could accomplish together by combining resources and ideas.

The Pitch is Only the Beginning
If you've delivered your pitch successfully, it will motivate your listener to take action, whether that means that they ask questions, decide to invest, become a new customer or a partner. Assess your strengths and weaknesses in advance and be ready to address them during your conversation; it shows that your idea is well thought-out. Have a business card ready and make sure to follow-up — hopefully this is just the beginning of the conversation!

A YES business coach can help you craft your compelling elevator pitch. Call 514-878-9788 ext.316. or visit yesmontreal.ca.