It’s great that you have a big vision and want to communicate that in every conversation. Just don’t do it in your elevator pitch. If you do, that vision may remain a vision because no one will know what your company actually does or how it can help them.

When I first start working with my clients, many of them will have an elevator pitch that looks something like this:

Trimerica International is redefining the railroad industry in the new millennium. We are not your average railroad company - using a combination of innovation, strategic experience and technology we are making it easier for travelers to get to their next station in life.

I’m sorry, but what the hell does that mean?!

It sounds nice and the whole next station pun is a great dad joke, but there’s no clear way for me to identify what this company does. Which is why when you say it, everyone smiles and nods at the big buzz words and then never calls you because they have no idea what you do or how you can help them - the exact opposite of what you’re looking to accomplish.

In my past life as a writer and journalist, I learned that adjectives and flowery words are the last lifeline of a lazy writer who doesn’t know how to articulate. This is why words like innovative, forward thinking, revolutionize, unique, new-age, customer first, strategic experience, and countless others don’t work. Or, as my favorite writer, Stephen King, would crudely (but accurately) say in his book On Writing - Don’t say defecate a bowel movement when you mean to say take a shit.

The elevator pitch is meant to be an introduction to your company that makes it clear what your company does. The key words in that sentence are make it clear. You need to do two things and two things alone in your elevator pitch.

  1. Make it clear what your product or service actually is.

  2. Share the impact it has for the customers who use it.

We’ll go to my favorite product example to put this into very simple terms. Here is the elevator pitch for a broom:

My company has created the broom, which is a stick with straw on the end of it that you use to remove dirt from a floor. (WHAT IT IS) It helps my customers clean their floor in half the time they would using a rag without any back pain (IMPACT IT HAS).

Is that an overly simplified example? Yes. But, if you can’t explain your company in simple terms and you are the founder or CEO, imagine how hard it is for your prospects to understand. Simple is the language of the divine and it’s much harder to achieve than complicated. So, it will take some work, but it’s well worth the effort to write less and say more.  

And if you need a little help in this area you can  schedule a free 30-minute session with me and we can talk about it. Until next time!


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