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Sell it … Fast! 4 approaches to an elevator pitch

Much like an elevator pitch, let’s get to the point.

At best, you have seconds, not minutes, to convey your business idea to a potential investor / partner / customer / employee … and you need to capture their attention.  And fast. Make it good.

But, what’s the best way?

There are lots of approaches. Here are some of the ones us here at FTA have used, and continue to.

Choose which method works best for you. Practice, test, refine. Repeat.

1) “The Classic Approach” – this is the one of the most relied upon approaches: clearly state the problem you are seeking to solve (“the Problem”), how you’re intending to address it (“the Solution”), who has this Problem so much so they’re itching to pay you money for your Solution (“your Market), finally why exactly this is the case and why they’ll buy from you and nobody else (“your Unique Selling Proposition” or “USP”). You’ll find this approach explained on many different websites – here’s one original blog link on MindTools.com that describes this approach in more detail.

2) “The Scenario Approach” – this method is similar to the Classic approach, but requires a bit of imaginative storytelling. It’s also a cleaver yet effective way to ask your audience “does it sound like you could be my customer?”.

Format: “You know when you [state the scenario] and you [state the problem] and you wish [state the solution]? That’s what we do, and why we’re so good at this is because of [state your USP].

For instance: “You know when [scenario] you’re on the bus hurrying home for dinner, but need to pick up dinner on the way home but [problem] so does half your neighbourhood and you get there at the same time as everyone else … wasting time, and keeping your family waiting? [solution] That’s the problem we solve – “FamilyDinnerTable.com.au” has [USP] Australia’s largest databases of non-franchise takeaway dinnertime specials for groups of 4 people, all priced under $25 – all of which can be ordered in less than 5 clicks of a button on your smart phone.”

Check out this link for more detail the Scenario approach.

3) “The Familiarity Approach” – often the easiest way of explaining your ‘new’ idea is to explain something similar which everyone knows well, then highlight your simple different.

Example – everyone knows Etsy.com as one of the largest hand-made crafts websites. If you were to sell hand-made food products instead, your pitch could easily be “We’re MarketBites.com – we’re like Etsy for market stall food products.”

4) “Speedy McSpeedy Approach” – this is a tough one to master, but can be really handy when your window of opportunity is painfully small.

Question: if you only had 6 words, could you pitch your business?

That’s the challenge of the approach posed by Vorkspace on their site.

This approach definitely requires some careful brainstorming ahead of time – but once you have it worked out, you have one of the quickest possible pitched. There’s little structure to this approach – you just need to find your “AHA!” moment, then own it.

Do you have a different approach to your elevator pitch? Let us know – shoot us an email by clicking here or leave your comment below.

About Kevin Perry

Former MasterChef Australia contestant, foodie, sports, 2 food start-ups under his belt ... more to come!

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