Posts Tagged ‘elevator speech’

Research indicates that our attention spans are getting more and more limited. It’s absolutely pervasive. Are you still there? Probably not, but for the three people who are still reading, please bear with me.

Without getting into all the causes, let’s deal with the reality. Nobody has the time or inclination to read a mountain of papers explaining the intricacies of your business. Not prospects, investors, bankers, employees or clients. According to a recent study, if you are pitching a new business concept to venture capitalists, you better have them hooked in the first 42 seconds (source: Growthink) or you will probably never see a dime, even if you have the greatest idea in the history of the planet!

If you do nothing else today, create a great elevator speech–a concise, interesting “sell” that will convince a contact that there is good reason to spend valuable time investigating the merits of your company or cause. What do you stand for? What makes you special? Why are you better than or different from the competition? Why should I spend another second with you?

Want an example from current events?

Like him or hate him, Barack Obama had a highly effective, well delivered elevator speech. He repeated it constantly for two years. I’m NOT George Bush. CHANGE. YES, WE CAN! John McCain had no elevator speech and even tried to borrow the word “change” from Obama. He did little to differentiate himself from Bush OR Obama.

The country bought Barack’s elevator speech and, for better or worse, he is now called President Barack Obama.

Remember, customers buy your marketing first. Good products and service will help you retain them, but you have to get their attention. Ask yourself why anyone should do business with you. Research the competition. Set yourself apart. Be ready to tell a short but compelling story next time you bump into someone in an elevator. If you do this properly, you will have laid the foundation for all future advertising, marketing, sales, HR and community initiatives.

This process may not be easy at first…but it’s truly worth the effort. If you think you can’t do it, don’t give up…I say: “YES, YOU CAN!!!”


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If you’re looking for angel investors or an infusion of venture capital, here are a few tips:

1. Regardless of your product, service or invention, experience is critical. You need to prove that your MANAGEMENT TEAM has a track record of success. If you’ve never run a business, your chances of securing funding from any source (including banks, friends and family) are extremely limited. Assemble a team that has taken companies from start-up through exit stages.

2. Understand the marketplace. You need to convince investors that your idea will work in all market conditions and you must demonstrate the SIZE, BREADTH AND GROWTH POTENTIAL of your target audience. This takes research and resources. Do you have enough seed money to start the process?

3. You must DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF AND YOUR IDEA. For example, if you have a technological innovation, is it patented? Investors need to know how and why they will make money, and they are searching for niche offerings that are not easily duplicated.

4. You must have well researched, professionally prepared and detailed BUSINESS AND MARKETING PLANS geared toward the financial/venture capital audience.

5. You must have an ELEVATOR SPEECH and a CONCISE (no more than ten slide PPT) PRESENTATION to capture the attention of investors. Why should they give you money? How will they make money in the short and long term? What makes you special? No investors will look at your detailed plans if you don’t first peak their interest and imagination.

6. Show PASSION for your idea. In some instances, potential investors or strategic partners will be bored with your specific proposal but excited by YOU and your enthusiasm!

These are just a few basics, but they will start you on the right track.

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