Use Your Elevator Pitch to Turn Strangers into ClientsNo matter what product or service you offer, it’s essential you have an elevator pitch—a way to explain your offering to strangers in a few brief sentences.

Being able to quickly and clearly communicate what you do increases the odds that a chance encounter might land you a prospective customer.

Roxana Bahar Hewertson, CEO of Highland Consulting Group, says, “If you can’t say who you are and what you do in a few sentences, you don’t know who you are and what you do and neither will anyone else.”

This is critically important, since you never know when you’ll bump into someone you might otherwise never hope to meet—and that’s when you must seize the moment to make your mark.

Julie Bawden-Davis, a contributor to Open Forum, enlists the advice of experts in crafting an elevator pitch “that leaves a lasting, positive impression.”

The Elevator Pitch: Introduce Yourself Succinctly

Be ready with a “brief, easy-to-absorb sentence” that includes your name, the name of your business, and the service (or product) you provide. For example: “I’m Jeremy Jones, my company is Doggone Grooming and we offer expert grooming for dogs.”

Identify The Problem Your Business Solves

“What’s in it for the listener has to resonate,” says Bahar Hewertson. “Why should the person care what you do? Focus on the listener and the value of your proposition for him or her.”

Announce The Results People Can Expect

While making it clear the results people can expect from your offering, you should absolutely avoid the hard sell. Your passion and vision should be evident in your elevator pitch because, as Bahar Hewertson says, “It’s important to be authentic and honest and have a higher purpose than just selling your stuff.”

Offer Proof And A Plan

Add one or two “killer facts” about what your product or service has accomplished in the past to your elevator pitch. Better yet, be ready with a quick anecdote about how your offering proved to be the perfect solution for a recent client.

“Finish your pitch by offering a plan of action for delivering on your promise,” Bawden-Davis advises. It takes a little quick thinking but do everything you can to fit your elevator pitch to the person you’re talking to.

Know When To Stop Talking

Keep an eye on the other person’s body language. If while you make your pitch you sense he or she has stopped listening, stop talking. Change the subject to the other person, Bahar Hewertson advises. “The fact that you and the sensitivity and tact to stop and listen will leave a good impression about you and your business.”