Tips for Creating Your Elevator Pitch
The philosophy behind an elevator pitch is essentially: carpe diem, seize the day. You have 20-60 seconds with a stranger you may never get back (approximately the time it takes to ride together in an elevator); what are you going to do with this golden opportunity? As an office furniture dealer or a rep, are you prepared to express the purpose behind what you do? Can you quickly and fully explain the services you offer? If your immediate answer isn’t “yes”, then follow these 4 easy steps to create your perfect elevator pitch.
- Emphasize your WHY. Why do you do what you do? This isn’t about specifics; this is about purpose. Does your company have a mission statement or values section on their website? Read it. If you only know how your company does what they do, you are missing the biggest part: the why. Now find a way to summarize why you do what you do in just a sentence or so. Focus on the purpose. In fact, try avoiding language that suggests what your company provides. Seriously, don’t even mention furniture, yet!
Here’s an example: “Clear Design believes in revolutionizing the workplace. I’m a firm believer that your environment will reflect the work you do. So, I chose to work for Clear Design because I believe everyone should love to go to work.”
- Present yourself as a guide. Think about some of your favorite action books and movies...there is usually a hero. The biggest mistake you can make as a company is presenting yourself to potential clients as the hero. You are not the hero of their story, they are. But how does a hero succeed? They have a guide. Just like Katniss has Haymitch, Frodo has Gandalf, and Daniel has Mr. Miyagi, your clients have you.
This concept of being a guide is courtesy of Donald Miller, author ofBuilding a Storybrand. He says a guide is the one with the knowledge and resources to help a hero complete their quest. So what resources or services does your company or dealership offer, and how will you help the hero succeed?
At Clear Design, we offer many resources for our dealer and rep partners. Whether it’s our brochures, design files, or media kit, our job is to make yours easier. An elevator pitch is not the place to start listing all of the many ways your service is great (unless perhaps the elevator gets stuck and you have time to kill), so tell them you have resources, but don’t worry about the details; that’s for a follow-up conversation.
For example: “Clear Design is an office furniture manufacturer committed to improving the workplace with innovative and dependable furniture solutions. We help our dealers succeed with our industry-leading speed for shipping, design support, and quote turnarounds.
- Give them some facts. Here’s where you get to brag a little. Every company has success stories to share, even when times are tough. Do some research into your company - read client reviews, or dig into historical statistics. What is your company most proud of?
Here’s an example: “Clear Design worked tirelessly to create and manufacture new products in response to the COVID-19 pandemic so businesses can rethink their workspaces, and quickly add reliable solutions to keep their teams safer.”
- Summarize how you can help. This is the part where you bring it home. As the guide, show them that they need you to complete whatever their quest is (maybe in this case, creating the perfect office environment). What do they have to do to partner with you?
For example: “Known for making it easy for dealers to succeed, Clear Design works closely with our partners to provide the tools and products they need to put their best foot forward and win more opportunities.”
Put it all together.
So let’s take a look at what your elevator pitch might look like, once you’ve put it all together.
Important Tip: Make sure it’s conversational and flows naturally.
I work for Clear Design, an office furniture company that is revolutionizing the workplace. I’m a firm believer that your environment reflects the work you do, and that everyone should love going to work. We work with a network of reps and dealers and ensure they’re successful by providing innovative and dependable furniture solutions, and industry-leading speed for shipping, design support, and quote turnarounds.
We responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by quickly creating new products to help businesses rethink their workspaces. We knew they needed fast and reliable solutions to keep their teams safer.If you/your company would be interested in learning more about Clear Design, I’d love to talk! Would you like to exchange business cards?”
(We guarantee you can say all of that in less than 60 seconds.)
Hooray, you’ve done it! You’ve explained your services in a way that the stranger will have a hard time forgetting your passion for what you do and the heart behind it.