Helping entrepreneurs turn ideas into a business

Elevator Pitch Tips

The Elevator Pitch

Believe it or not networking is one of the most important activities for an entrepreneur. To network effectively, an entrepreneur must have a compelling elevator pitch. The ability to communicate what your business is in a memorable,and succinct manner is important. An effective way to reach your audience, the elevator pitch serves as an introduction to your business highlighting the differentiating aspects. Underscoring what differentiates your business from your competition is what makes an elevator pitch memorable. The elevator pitch can be used in many situations from seeking capital, partners, customers, sales situations and, of course, networking opportunities. Don’t confuse an elevator pitch with a sales tool. The elevator pitch is more of a relationship building tool.

One common mistake made is to not adjust the elevator pitch to reflect the changing needs and wants of the target market. What differentiated you in the past may not be relevant now. Keeping current with your target market needs will help you know when your ‘pitch’ needs to be adjusted. Rarely, what differentiates you now will differentiate you in the long term. Constant and clear communication with your target market is the only way to know when that ‘shift’ occurs.

The elevator pitch should be under 30 seconds to be captivating. Thirty seconds is enough time to achieve your goal of having the listener, at the end of your elevator pitch say, “Really! Tell me more.”  That is the effect you want your elevator pitch to have on your audience. Keeping your elevator pitch to under 30 seconds requires an economy of words. To perfect this economy of words practice using Twitter. Twitter requires using as few as characters as necessary to convey your message.  Although Twitter is helpful in sharpening your skill to form concise messages the elevator pitch has to be complete, and logical in its presentation.  A concise, well delivered message shines light on a good message and glare on a bad message. An Angel investor once took aside to express his belief that a good idea clearly shines though when expressed succinctly, but the opposite is also true. A terrible idea is brought to light when expressed in an equally succinct manner.  So you may ask is an elevator pitch really important? Really, it is.

Most importantly understand the elevator pitch is not about you, but your business and what it can do to solve a need. Practice, practice and practice your elevator pitch until it rolls off your tongue making your delivery sound natural. The adage we never receive a second chance to make a good first impression is especially true when delivering your elevator pitch. Make a great first impression!


January 8, 2011 Posted by | Entrepreneur | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

John Wooden A Great Man! Entrepreneurs Take Notice!

I want to devote this blog to the passing of a great basketball coach and a true leader of people.

I grew up in the era of UCLA and its’ incredible basketball teams. I think most of the team members would agree their success was due largely because of John Wooden and his ability to get the most out of people.

How does this relate to entrepreneurship? There is much that Mr. Wooden coached that is applicable to the entrepreneur.

I want to offer a few quotes of Mr. Woodens and discuss how they can relate to today’s entrepreneur.

 “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are”.   John Wooden

As an entrepreneur your character is everything. If you do not live with integrity, loyalty, and honor your reputation won’t either. People will eventually find you out.  Success will only last a short while because your character, or lack, rise to the surface like day old fish. People will discontinue buying from you. So make sure you developand keep good character.

Don’t worry about your reputation.

 “Never mistake activity for achievement”.   John Wooden

I have seen more than my fair share of entrepreneurs mistake activity for achievement. People who too often seem scurrying around and always busy but have no goals are only fooling themselves.  Activity without goals is a waste of energy.  Be sure you write your goals, review your goals and adjust your goals accordingly.

Achievers with goals create activity. Activity without goals means you keep going in circles.

 “Success is never final,  failure is never fatal.  It’s courage that counts”.   John Wooden

I had a boss once tell me that when you have a success write it down or put a clipping in a file so you can refer back to it when times get tough. That was some of the best advice I received.  Because the truth is whatever success you are having now will pass. Whatever failure you are experiencing now it too shall pass. What counts is the courage you show in getting to your final destination… a successful business.

Entrepreneurs face many challenges.  Some they succeed at some they don’t but the only true fact is tht things change.  Successful entrepreneurs find the courage to stay the course.

I speak from some experience. I have won a few and lost many.  But what I do know is that you breathe, you learn and then you move forward.

Readers of this blog if you have some spare time consider reading a book about John Wooden or by John Wooden. You will find in it much to help you in your quest to become an entrepreneur.

 Thanks Mr. Wooden!



June 8, 2010 Posted by | Entrepreneur | , , , , , , | 2 Comments