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How can I best work out my “elevator pitch”?

Tuesday, 19 March 2013 | By Colin Benjamin

I’m setting up a business that imports pet accessories for animal lovers.


I’ve tried to pitch my concept to various investors and other business people, but I always get into a mess. How can I best work out my “elevator pitch”?


The keys to any elevator speech are immediacy of the business opportunity, clarity of what makes it a profitable venture and passion for the difference that it will make for buyers, customers and consumers down your value chain.


Always remember that the pet is the consumer, the owner may or may not be the customer, the buyer may or not see a benefit for stocking your product and the people in the elevator are the only people you have to convince that all the others are willing to pay for what you are seeking to provide.


Pitching investors is like herding cats – you have to get them to go where they wanted to go anyway and then claim the credit.


There are three steps to a good elevator pitch:


  1. Set out the gap in the market that shows the investor how and why your pet accessories are going to reward pet owners enough to shift funds from alternative purchase intentions.


  1. Show how it is going to make money for both you and the investor by making the pet owner determined to keep buying your accessories, eg. it is easier to explain something that creates healthier pets than happy pet owners if you are building a platform for regular repeat purchases.


  1. Select the three key features, benefits and attributes of your business as an investment opportunity and encourage the investor to make a time to explore your relationship rather than repeat the benefit proposition for the pet owners.


Then it comes down to having enough associates who are willing to challenge every part of the elevator speech by being prepared to generate a well-rehearsed response to questions.