The elevator pitch, a startup sales necessity

Note: This blog was originally posted on the Venture Accelerator Partners Inc. website. It is reposted here with permission from the author.

Back in early 2010 I did a blog around developing an “elevator pitch” and its importance when you are a startup.  I think having a short, concise and simple to understand elevator pitch is an absolute necessity to any company and even more so if you are a startup.  Why? Most people will only give you a few seconds of their time to hear you out and if your description is too long, too technical or too confusing, they are done and so are you.

While doing some research on this topic, I came across a great tool that can be used by any entrepreneur to help build their elevator pitch and wanted to share it with you. The tool, called the “HBS Elevator Pitch Builder,” was designed at Harvard Business School and provides an entrepreneur with an easy to use mechanism to craft a solid elevator pitch. I have outlined the four key points below for you. Remember, you are looking to keep it simple, concise, impactful and memorable.

1. Describe yourself or your business – this is the “who you are” component. The best bet here is to keep it short and sweet.

Using VA Partners as an example, “Hi, my name is Steve Gruber. I am co-founder of Venture Accelerator Partners and am passionate about helping Canadian companies grow their business.”

2. Outline “what” you do at a high level. You can use your tag line or mantra.

We drive revenue for growing organizations. Our services include part-time sales, marketing and social media assistance.

3. Provide a list of your benefits – this is the “why” someone should utilize your services.

We have:

  • A proven track record of success – a few examples include closing $300,000 in incremental revenue for a web-based software company working 1.5 days a week; helping a manufacturing vision systems company implement a sales process and roll-out; increasing a cleantech company’s sales funnel by $3,000,000; growing a financial client from one customer to over 40 in two years.
  • Over 50 years of experience in technology sales.
  • A cash-flow-friendly solution for firms looking to grow their revenues but can’t afford a full-time person.
  • Experience in both channel and business-to-business sales.

We did an excellent blog on “Quantifying your Business Benefits” that includes helpful tips you can use to better articulate the benefits your organization provides.

4. List your immediate goals – what you want to achieve out of this meeting or presentation. Be specific, outline a timeframe and be realistic. You can always follow the SMART methodology – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.

I would like to understand the effectiveness of your sales & marketing efforts today and identify if VA Partners can be of assistance. How does your schedule look next Tuesday for a face to face meeting to investigate further?

Feel free to contact me for more information.