I once had a client, Zach, who wanted to start some kind of online auction business. He would describe to me in detail how the auction software worked, and the different kinds of products that would be auctioned off, but he could never articulate how his auction site would be any different from eBay. All he told me was what he wouldn’t be selling, like junk, clothes, computer parts, etc. He just kept talking about baseball cards and comic books. So we sat down and tried out my 7 Step Perfect Pitch Program. The program takes less than an hour. Here’s how it works:
- Several packs of sticky notes
- A Sharpie marker
- A legal pad
- A pen
- A watch
The 7 Step Perfect Elevator Pitch Program
Step 1: The Cloud (10 minutes) — Take the pen and legal pad, and write as many words as possible describing what your company does, what you sell, and what your target audience looks like. You can write blurbs, single words, complete sentenced, a story, etc. Then put the legal pad and pen away and out of sight.
Step 2: Define Your Products and Services (5 minutes) — Take the Sharpie and sticky notes, and start writing down single words that describe the types of products and services you provide. One word per sticky note. Do not look at the legal pad. You should come up with somewhere between 10 to 30 words. If you come up with less than 10, repeat for another minute. Go onto Step 3.
Step 3: Define Your Target Audience (5 minutes) — Repeat Step 2 except this time focus on what your target audience looks like.
Step 4: Trim (5 minutes) — Review all the words in both piles of sticky notes, and eliminate half of the words from each pile that you think you could live without.
Step 5: Filter (5 minutes) — Choose a total of six words that you feel you cannot live without when describing your company. You can choose three from each pile, or any combination thereof. Repeat until you have exactly six words.
Step 6: Formulate (10 minutes) — Take out the legal pad and pen again, and use the six words to create single sentences that describe your company. You do not have to include all of them, but you do have to limit it to single sentences using variations of the six words.
Step 7: Final Pitch (5 minutes) — Choose one sentence that encompasses what you do as a company, what services and product you provide, and what your target audience looks like.
The exercise with Zach took less than an hour. In the end, his pitch looked like this: “an online auction company for enthusiasts of high-end collectibles.” His pitch described what kind of service he provided, and what his target audience looked like.
If you are having a difficult time coming up with a mission statement, an elevator pitch, or just a general idea of what your company is suppose to be, try out my Perfect Pitch Program, and see if it helps.