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Why Elevator Pitches Help Win Customers

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                   SoHo NEWS & TIPS
Helping You Make the Most of Your Small Office/Home Office


With all the public relations you do for your company, you 
may forget about the best way to get the word out - your 
employees. They are out in the community, meeting with others 
who could potentially impact your business. Today's article 
discusses how their pitches might help win your business new 


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Why 'Elevator Pitches' Help Win Customers
By David Coursey

If I asked everyone who works at your company to 
tell me about the business, how many different 
answers do you think I'd hear? I'm willing to bet 
I'd hear about as many different stories as you 
have employees.

That's unfortunate because your employees could be 
your best public relations machine. They are out 
in the community, meeting potential customers, 
suppliers and others who can impact your business 
— both for better and worse. Why not equip your 
staff with the information they need to make a 
good impression? No business can have too many 
friends and your employees are just the people to 
help make them.

I am not talking about turning all your employees 
into salespeople, though I guess, in a low-pressure 
way, that's precisely what I am saying. Everyone 
on your payroll should be able to provide a short 
introduction to your company, ideally geared to 
the interests of the person that they've just met. 
Follow that with an exchange of business cards and 
you now have one more person who has a favorable 
impression of your company and knows someone who 
works there.

If appropriate, your employee then passes the 
contact information along for appropriate follow-
up, potentially turning a chance encounter into a 

To accomplish this, everyone in your company needs 
to learn what I call the "elevator pitch" and be 
able to recite some version of it whenever it 
makes sense to do so. The elevator pitch is a 
quick description of what your company does and 
why your company is special. It's so named because 
the pitch is brief enough that it can be delivered 
during a typical elevator ride. Its shorthand for 
"tell me why I should care about your company, and 
do it in 30 seconds or less."

There is no perfect elevator pitch and every 
company's will be different. It may be something 

"Northwind Traders is the only floral and gift 
service that guarantees delivery anywhere within 
12 hours, using a network of affiliates and 
delivering quality gifts at affordable prices."

"Whatever IT is, you can find it on eBay, the 
world's largest marketplace for private buyers and 
sellers with more than 100 million users world-

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"Contoso Ltd. is the dealership that makes you 
feel like a luxury car owner, no matter how long 
ago you purchased your car, thanks to 24-hour 
service and guaranteed repair appointments, free 
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There are three things that need to be in an 
elevator pitch:

1. What your company does.

2. Why it's better/different than your competitors
— first, only, best, largest, service-focused, 
whatever that is.

3. Where to get more info. "I'd be glad to send 
you a business plan," "Our Web site has all the 
details," or "Can I set up a meeting to tell you 

The elevator pitch needs to be fact-based, 
interesting, and give the listener a reason to 
remember your company. It's not a sales pitch, at 
least not directly, but a verbal message that 
expands upon the business card the listener is 
about to receive.

Elevator pitches are not, however, a one-way 
street. Your employees need to understand they 
should be both good spokespeople and good listen-
ers, too. If you give someone a pitch, you're 
obligated to listen to theirs, too. This shouldn't 
be a chore, however, because you may find their 
pitch every bit as useful as you hope they will 
find yours.


Dispense with your fax machine and that bulky instruction 
booklet that came with it. Don't waste time trying to figure 
out all the multiple functions on yet another piece of office 
equipment. Use a service like MyFax (http://www.myfax.com/), 
which makes simple work out of programming complex fax jobs. 

So what did you think about this issue? Drop me a line and let 
me know at mailto:mandi@gophercentral.com 

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