Creating the Right First Impression – The 30 Second Elevator Pitch

Peter Mardon Corporate Partner

Whether you are the head of a global corporation or looking to start your own business, it is essential to create the right first impression. What you need is a well crafted elevator pitch. This is a 30 second summary of who you are, what you do and why you are doing it.

Although most entrepreneurs have elevator pitches, they often do not live up to their potential. This is frequently because some common yet simple mistakes are made, such as:

1) Describing their own skills rather than the purpose

2) Telling a story that doesn’t sound interesting enough to grab the listener’s attention

3) Failing to rehearse the pitch, meaning they are lost for the right words or aren’t clear enough

Conveying your skills or purpose is important. Telling someone that you are “Bob Smith, an engineer” may be correct, but it gives no incentive to the listener to want to hear more. Focusing on what you are a specialist in or passionate about and how you can add value to customers are the kind of snappy statements that are required to make your pitch more effective. For example: “Hi, I’m Bob Smith. I am an engineer with specialist knowledge of how to produce electronic crop spraying equipment.”

Telling a story is also really important. A key element to an elevator pitch is that it must contain a “hook” for the listener. For example: “Hi, I’m Bob Smith. I am an engineer and CEO of a company that produces specialist electronic crop spraying equipment. We help farmers to save on average £30,000 a year by using our state of the art spraying machinery that enables them to spray their crops throughout the night, without any human operation.” Even if the listener is not interested in farming or engineering, they will be curious about Bob and what he is doing.

What tops off your pitch is practice. You will never know when you will need to use that pitch to someone who could be a key customer or investor so make sure you know your pitch inside out.

Click here to contact Peter Mardon at WSP Solicitors today to discuss how you can create a well crafted elevator pitch, to create the right first impression, and other ways in which you can start to help grow your business.

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