Whether you're in a meeting, or you meet a potential investor at a dinner party, you'll be better off if you have a prepared elevator speech for your startup. This helps you say what you really need to say without having to think about it or even worse, leaving something out.
Let's look at how to craft an elevator speech for investors.
What is an Elevator Speech?
Sometimes called an elevator pitch, this speech is a short overview of your business, products, and services. You may use it in business settings such as face-to-face networking or during the investor pitch itself.
You might also use the elevator speech when you run into someone who wants to know what you're doing. If you have this speech at the ready, you might even convince someone unexpected to invest or partner with your venture.
The elevator speech is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal, and it's fairly simple to create.
It tells potential investors what your company is all about and what problem your business solves or need it meets. You also want to include why your startup matters and what sets you apart from others in the same industry.
As we work on crafting your elevator speech for investors, it's worth noting that you want to keep this well under two minutes. The best-case scenario is an elevator speech that's right at one minute long and 150-250 words.
What to include
Keep your elevator pitch short while covering only the most important information.
Along with answering the questions of why you matter and what needs do you meet, you want to hone in on your startup's unique selling point.
This is what makes your products or services better than any others.
Ultimately it should tell investors about the genuine need your startup meets.
Steps to follow
As you go about writing your rough draft, take the following items into account:
- Define who you are. You can answer this question in only one sentence. For example, "We built a software platform that allows people to design their own custom swimming pools."
- Explain what you do. This can be one-two sentences. Take a look at your mission statement and write about what you do every day that matters. For example, "This software platform allows customers to hire a pool builder for $10,000 less than normal and create a beautiful spot for building family memories."
- Describe your target customer. You can use one-two sentences here. It might look like this: "My ideal customers are busy families looking for a place to build quality relationships with their children away from the demands of technology and daily life. These customers don't have time to deal with the pool design process, and they are interested in building a pool in the most economic manner."
- Elaborate on what makes you unique. This is where you use your unique selling proposition, and it can be one-two sentences. For example, "I know how hard it is today to get your children away from their devices, and I know the value of a dollar. I'm in a unique position to help people build relationships while saving an unprecedented amount of money."
- Make sure you have a hook. This can be a sentence that asks your audience if they've ever wished for something. In this case, you can appeal to their family-side and money-saving tendencies.
Once you have the drafts of all of these statements, you can put them together beginning with your hook sentence.
You then want to edit it making sure it flows well from sentence to sentence.
When you review your elevator speech before using it for the first time, run it by your team, friends and family.
Ask them this important question, "Do I sound passionate?" Then ask them if you hooked them. If they answered yes to both of those questions, you've got a great elevator pitch.
Be confident, practice your speech, but don't sound rehearsed, and you've taken the first step to getting your funding.
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