How to sell your company in five minutes

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Picture the scene – a prospective client asks you what your business does. You go to give a clear and engaging reply, but all that comes out is a vague and unconvincing explanation.

We’ve all been there.

In today’s world where people have increasingly short attention spans, being able to sell your company quickly and effectively is an important skill for small-business owners to master.

One way you can do this is by creating an elevator pitch. It’s a term to describe a persuasive speech that sells your business in the time it takes to travel two floors of an elevator.

You’ll use your elevator pitch in your company branding, your marketing materials and your company’s website. So, your message has to be clear and simple.

Here are my top tips for building a killer business elevator pitch that helps sell what you do:

1.Define your target audience

Start by thinking about who you’ll be talking to. Is it a potential investor, a new client, or someone you’d like to work with? Knowing this info lets you tweak your pitch to engage your audience. That could be with facts and figures, mission statements, outlining your passion, or a mix of all these.

2.Determine your business story

Most businesses find it hard to decide what information should be included in their elevator pitch, since all of it seems important.

The trick is to highlight the facts and what your business does exactly.

Think about the message you want to convey to your audience and then try to summarise it into a short paragraph.

To work out what information you want to include, start by asking yourself some questions: what specifically does your businesses do? What problem does it solve? How does your business differ from your competitors?

Take your answers and turn them into a short paragraph. Build them into story in words that sound and feel like your own. Practice retelling your story. You’ll then sound more confident and compelling next time you’re asked, “what do you do?”.

3.Don’t be afraid to tweak your pitch

After writing your elevator pitch, practice telling it to friends or family. Ask them to imagine they’re your target audience. If your pitch doesn’t make the right impact, you may need to rework it as you could be burying key facts and diluting your message.

The more you pitch it, the more you’ll notice which key points provoke interest.

And it will help you consider the time it takes you to deliver your pitch. If you’re over five minutes, your pitch is too long and you risk losing interest.

Finally, consider writing a few different versions of your pitch for different audiences.

So, there you have it, a few tips to help you nail down your pitch and deliver it with confidence. Good luck.

Melissa Haywood, Head of Vistaprint Australia