We’ve all been told that making a great first impression is important but why does the elevator pitch we’ve worked so hard on not work for us? If you feel that what you say doesn’t reflect your business then you’re not alone. Lots of us hate our own elevator pitches, but we cross our fingers and throw them out there anyway.

Here are my top ten reasons your elevator pitch might not be working

😢Your pitch is a sales catalogue

Most of us deliver a range of products, services or both in our business but people don’t attend networking events to buy, they attend to connect with people. Work on understanding the common threads in your business and condense that into a few words.

💎The response “Tell me more” is a win, not a fail

😢Your pitch is too long

An effective elevator pitch should be concise. It does not need to contain your full life or business history, address, every product or service or example of what you do. As some intro time at events varies from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes create some alternatives so you can adjust accordingly without going off track.

💎The basics are, who you are, who you serve, what problem you solve and where to find you.

😢Your pitch is too short

Saying “I’m an accountant” or “I own a florist” is to the point but isn’t specific. Your pitch needs to provide something to set you apart from others in your field. Delve deeper into what makes you unique, it might be the type of clients you work with, what brought you to your business or your method of working.

💎Know what makes you unique

😢They’re asleep

This may not entirely be your fault. If the last speaker droned on for 10 minutes or flew past in three words then their mind isn’t on you, so you need to grab the room. Open with a bang, ask a question, make a statement, and make sure your voice will be heard. Then add a brief pause before you continue.

💎Open with a bang

😢You’re using too much jargon

Avoid falling into the trap of thinking all the words, phrases and acronyms you’ve learnt in your chosen field are understood by everyone. Potential clients may not know these terms before they find you, even if they do their network may not. Networking is about referrals as well as sales so make it easy for everyone to connect you with language they understand. Never try to use your elevator pitch as a time to show off or teach these words either.

💎 Make it easy for everyone to understand

😢Your pitch is boring

Enthusiasm and passion are essential to make your pitch memorable and compelling. There are many ways to be more engaging but always remind yourself why your business excites you before you network and it will show in your voice when you speak.

💎Bring your passion to be more engaging
Also, read my last blog for more tips on engagement

😢You don’t know your ideal customer

Identify your ideal customer and tailor your pitch so they can recognize themselves in it. Your ideal client isn’t always a set demographic but they will share some common needs and desires. Speaking as though everyone is your ideal customer can alienate those who neither want nor care about what you have (even if they would benefit) and doesn’t connect with the thoughts of those you want to reach.

💎Work on defining your ideal customer

😢There’s no “what next”

End by telling them where to find you or how to contact you. How you do this can vary by event, online you might share links in a chat box and in-person, you might use a business card or have something on a showcase table. If time and format allow you might also share an offer but keep point 1 in mind

💎 End with a CTA (Call to action)

😢Your pitch is confusing

A pitch that lurches from one idea to another without clear connections can be confusing. It can also give the impression that you are disorganised in your business too. Planning gives you time to organise your thoughts and your pitch.

💎Use a structure that’s easy to follow

😢 Your pitch is not really YOU

Sometimes one of the hardest things to be is ourselves. We can cling so tightly to sounding professional, or what we perceive as professional, that we shut out all that makes us unique. Allow yourself to use language you would naturally use, share humour, be passionate, and smile. People connect with people so let them see there’s a real person behind your business.

💎 Bring your personality out

By applying these tips you can create concise yet engaging elevator pitches that reach your ideal client.

Happy networking all.

Need help putting these tips into practice?
Book a 60 minute Elevate my Elevator session with me to develop your pitch and boost your networking effectiveness.