Monday, February 02, 2009

1/15 CSBA:NEXUS BREAKFAST notes on Elevator Pitch

Practice, Practice, Practice!
Practice you pitch so that it comes easily and in a conversational manner

Your pitch will evolve overtime; let it change naturally as your business/customers do and stay fresh.

Your pitch shouldn’t be over a minute, but if you practice and cut out the excess, you can fit in a lot of information.

Recruit a friend to listen and provide feedback. Friends that don’t work in sustainability provide particularly fresh eyes.

Recruit past clients—what do they like about your company? What do they come back to you or refer you for? What they say is what sticks out about your company, include it in your elevator pitch.

Define your Services and Scope of Business
Ask yourself: am I giving too much information or too little?

There’s a lot your company does, but people think in hooks and boxes. Come up with a slogan/tagline, or broad boxes describing your work.

How do you differentiate yourself?

Address/Avoid Assumptions
The words “green” or “sustainable” come with a set of assumptions, such as the affordability of service/product and your credibility.

“Sole Practitioner” also comes with a set of assumptions.

Potential clients want to know if you can handle their business. One way to show capabilities is to list current clients.

Cast a wide net
Make your elevator pitch appealing to all people, rather than pigeonholing yourself during your pitch. You can decide later whether or not you want them to be your client.

Activist may be a trigger word, advocate is usually not.

Avoid jargon like triple-bottom line that may not be commonly understood.

Networking is a Two-Way Street

The person you are talking to may not become your customer, but their contacts may! So, help them out by matchmaking and they will return the favor at some point.

See if there is an opportunity to talk more. End your pitch with a question: “What do you do?”

In your pitch, answer the question “What do you do?” but also open the door for more conversation by avoiding too much detail.


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