If you are a self-employed professional, a consultant or a business owner, you need an elevator pitch. This is a short summary of your services designed to entice and hook potential clients. Historically, elevator pitches happened in elevators -- if you were lucky enough to get "stuck" in the same elevator with a potential client, you would use that opportunity to pitch your idea.
Now, elevator pitches can happen anywhere -- on the sidelines of your kid's soccer games, on a train platform or in the middle of a dinner party. Regardless of where you are, if the opportunity arises, you need to be ready with your pitch, and you should be prepared to bolster the details with your business card.
Read more to find out how to integrate your business card into your elevator pitch:
1. Explaining who you are and what you do
Every effective elevator pitch should start with who you are and what you do. For example, if you are a content writer, you might say something such as "I'm a content writer, and I help businesses optimize their web presence and attract more clients with blog posts, social media marketing and other types of custom, quality content."
Your business card should naturally reflect that. Keep in mind that people may receive multiple elevator pitches, and if your business card isn't clear, they could forget what you do. If the services you provide aren't abundantly clear in your business name, make sure that they're spelled out on your business card.
2. Provide supporting details
As it's designed to be delivered quickly, elevator pitches cannot contain every detail about what you do and the services you provide. That can be frustrating, but the right business card can help.
When drafting your elevator pitch, don't try to cram it full of as many details as possible. Instead, tailor it to an effective length, and then, use your business card to offer supporting details.
To do that, your business card could contain your website address or links to client testimonials. In other cases, you could order a high-tech business card with a QR code or a similar type of technology.
You can program these elements to work in a range of ways. For example, if you put a QR code on your business card, the other person could scan it with their smart phone. Then, that code automatically opens a web page on the other person's mobile phone. The web page could showcase an interactive model of your latest project, or it could even have a video advertisement about what you do.
3. Never selling, always creating need
A well crafted elevator pitch doesn't sell anything. Rather, it convinces the person listening that they need something. This is an art, and you may have to deliver and recraft your elevator pitch several times before it is effective at creating need.
You should also mimic this sentiment when handing out your business cards. Ideally, you shouldn't be begging the other person to take one of your cards. Instead, your pitch should have intrigued them so much that they are requesting your card.
Don't just offer the card. Make them hungry, and then, give it out on request. This demand makes you seem more desirable. If no one is asking how to reach you at the end of your pitch, try redrafting it to create more need and urgency.
4. Building intimacy
If you want someone to become your client, it helps to create a sense of intimacy. This creates the feeling of trust. It makes the other person more likely to confide in you about their business challenges, and it makes them more likely to take your solutions seriously.
During your pitch, you can create engagement and intimacy by asking a question. For example, if you are starting an online cell phone store, you could ask the other person if they have ever bought a cell phone online. That allows you to gauge their interest levels, and it ensures they are involved in the conversation.
When giving your business card to the other person, continue this feeling of intimacy by providing extra details that aren't on the card. For example, when you hand the other person your business card, jot your cell phone number on it. This makes the other person feel like they're special and like you are giving them something novel and exclusive.
5. Being prepared
Finally, it's essential to be prepared. Have your elevator pitch ready, and practice it so much that it falls easily off the tip of your tongue. Always, always make sure that you carry business cards as well as a pen to jot down extra details.