You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention when talking about your business. That’s why your elevator pitch has to be spot on. If someone expresses interest in what you do, they could be a potential client. And you only have about 5 seconds to make them either think “Oh interesting, I want to learn more,” or “She lost me, what should I make for dinner tonight?”
When I first opened up my business, I had a hard time explaining what exactly Virtual Assistants do. In all honesty, it shouldn’t be hard to explain but I stumbled over the lines and got way more complicated than I needed to.
I heard people say you had to practice your elevator pitch but I didn’t take them seriously. Of course, I looked and sounded like a fool when I was asked what I do for a living.
Here are some tips for those starting off in any industry on how to get that elevator pitch down smooth:
- Read articles, books, and emails out loud. This does not specifically go into your elevator pitch but it helps you with your tone of voice. You get used to speaking out loud and seeing how your cadence flows. Do you lilt your voice upwards at the end of each sentence like a question? Do your sentences drop off silently? Do you mumble? I received this advice from when I originally was going into broadcast television. Someone told me to record myself reading out loud. Though I never recorded myself, I did read out loud and it helped me realize some weird nuances in the way I was speaking that I wanted to change…for instance, sometimes a random Southern accent popped out with a few words. How strange!
- After graduating from speaking in front of a mirror and reading out loud, begin to practice your elevator pitch on a loved one. Make sure this person is someone you trust to tell you how you REALLY are doing. I practiced on my husband who made quite a few suggestions and helped me shorten my unnecessarily long elevator pitch.
- Go to networking events. I’ll be honest – I only acquired one client from a networking event and I went to quite a few when I first started my business. It wasn’t the best place to gain clients for me, but I know quite a few VA’s who have had a lot of success with local business. What it did help me with was to get that elevator pitch to a satisfactory place. I preferred to go to networking events that had 50+ people so that I had to repeat what I did over and over and over. I observed the body language of those listening to me and when they would start to become disinterested (I was getting long-winded again). I forced myself to pitch multiple times and learn how to make my elevator pitch not sound like a “pitch”. Networking events are the most valuable tools in the sandbox on learning how to take your pitch to the next level.
- Finally, and this is my secret sauce, when you get that elevator pitch down to a sentence or two, ask these potential clients what they do (or find out what they do before they ask you!) for a living. Then take that and use an example of how you could help them. It helps describe AND pitch your services in a beautiful way. For example, I met a woman who was in the graphic design and marketing business. She asked what I did and after my short description, I said, “With your company, a Virtual Assistant would be able to help with the graphic design and the ordering of the brochures that you make.” BAM! A real-life example of how I could help her business. But notice that I did not say *I* could help her, instead I used the generic “Virtual Assistant” because it puts less pressure on them.
My main takeaways from this would be to get your elevator pitch down to one or two compelling sentences, practice privately and publicly, and make sure to use examples of how your business could help someone else’s. Get ready to turn snoozing potential clients into interested clients.
Do you need a Virtual Assistant? Contact me to see how a VA can help save you time and money.