Whether you’re trying to raise capital, cold call, or just network, it’s essential to have an elevator pitch.  This is one of the most overlooked marketing tools you have in your arsenal.

The term “elevator pitch” means giving a condensed synopsis of your business – in the time between floors in an elevator.

Below are some examples of things to keep in mind when formulating, practicing (and you DO need to practice it) and delivering your elevator pitch.  It’s OK for it to sound like a sales pitch as long as the concept is clearly communicated.

Example 1: “My Company is bestcompanyever.com. We are the leading, online, legal administrative services provider in California.

This pitch is short, concise and clearly states what the name of the company is, as well as what they do. Being this clear allows the person you are addressing to think about ways they may be able to use your services – or refer business to you.

Check for “stop” words – words that make the person you are speaking to take pause or be confused.

Example 2: “My Company provides online solutions to clients world-wide.”  What does that mean? Absolutely nothing – and it just stopped the conversation dead while your elevator companion is trying to figure out what you just said. Try your pitch on a complete stranger.  If they get it, move on to your target audience because you have succeeded.

Avoid buzzwords or corporate jargon whenever possible. Buzzwords are showy and can come off really wrong if the person is not familiar with the terms you are using. Try to avoid terms like: outside the box, streamline. Keep your messaging clear and concise.  Try putting a question in your pitch.

Example 3: “Have you ever worked with an online virtual assistant?  “Well, my company is bestcompanyever.com. We are the leading, online, legal administrative legal services provider in California.”

Asking a question can act as an attention grabber and an attention gauge. It is important to not only capture the attention of the person you are speaking to but also gauge how interested they are in the conversation. If they seem interested in learning why you asked them the question you did, you can tailor your messaging to meet their interest level.

Know your business. There is nothing worse than hearing a fabulous elevator pitch but when asked for more information, you find that they were just reciting lines and don’t really know much about the subject matter.

Example 4: “It is wonderful that you are the number one, Bay Area Virtual Professionals.  How many companies like yours are there?”

As long as you understand why you’re ranked number-one and out of how many, you should be good to go.

– The bottom line is –

An elevator pitch is extremely important and worth taking the time to develop so it is easily understood and projects exactly what it is that you do. It may mean that you try out many elevator pitches until you find the right fit but it’s worth it. You never know whom you may run into in an elevator!