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Stefan Kazakis on 16 July 2015

The Value of the '30 Second Pitch'

elevator pitch

What do you do? Can you sum it up concisely and precisely? In my experience as a business mentor, most people do not have an answer ready.

When I am in a workshop situation I will often ask "in 10 words or less tell me ..." or "in 30 words or less tell me ..."  And sometimes I am asked in response "why do you do that?".

Because often time is of the essence. When we are given a defined number of words our thought process becomes more concise, a little more succinct. 

Imagine if you had just jumped in the elevator with what could be your next 'A' grade client. You are going to level 8 but they are getting out at level 6 and they ask "so what business are you in?"

How would you answer that question?

  "oh ... well .... umm .... I kind of ...." It's very painful, and just when your brain kicks into gear the elevator reaches the 6th floor and the doors open. There goes your next 'A' grade client, who is still none the wiser about what it is that you do, or more importantly what it is that you can do for them.

So this week, I was asked "in 150 words or less what are your top 5 tips for every business owner?"  Only 150 words?

So I thought this was a good exercise and it would be interesting to share my response with you, so here goes:

  • Define who your 'A' grade clients are in accordance with a value proposition formula. 
  • Learn how to say 'no'.  And be restful with your strategic decisions. 
  • Success leaves clues and so does failure.  Look for the clues to recent successes and replicate them.  Learn by your mistakes.  Make rejection and trend your best friend.
  • Ask yourself and your team three questions on a monthly or weekly basis.  What's working? What's not working? And what are we doing about it?  Then stay accountable to the third question.
  • Create your Default Diary and block out 50% of your time for your highest hourly rate categories – ie your highest Income Growth Activities.  Remember, sales is the only activity that actually puts money into your business.  Everything else takes it out. 

Now for those of you that like to double check everything: that was almost 130 words. Not bad, eh! 

And I talk very fast, so if I was asked this question in the elevator and I had until the 6th floor to make an impression -- do you think I would have nailed it?

Do you think I would have created enough interest for them to be thinking "Gee, I wish I could spend more time with this guy, he really knows what he's talking about!"

How many missed opportunities are you encountering every day because you are not ready.  Take the time to write down your response to the question "what is it that you do?" or "what would be your top 5 tips for".  Practice what you would say - I've heard that some do this whilst driving. Get the words nailed down so that you are ready the next time you are asked one of these really important questions.

By the way, it's okay if people say "no" and you internally put them in the category they deserve to be in.  Remember: 'the Brutal Truth will set you free'.

How to really nail your Elevator Pitch 

How do you know if your 30 second 'elevator pitch' is effective? You need to practice what you say, in addition to how you say it.

That's where a business coaching group can help you. At Business Benchmark Group, we hold regular business coaching and mentoring groups -- the perfect time to practice your pitch!

Get a business mentor and start networking with other Melbourne businesses.

Find out more about our Board of Directors 12 and M500 business coaching groups.

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