BY MATTHEW BIRCHARD

The Elevator Pitch is an exercise that will make a business focus on its value proposition.  Sharing it with your full service marketing firm gets you off to a good start.

I often ask new clients to give me their elevator pitch. I’ve yet to meet a prospective client with a concise pitch prepared.  I actually don’t expect them to, but the reason I ask is to get the client thinking about their value proposition.

I’m digging for insight into what, in their mind, makes them different from their competitors.  What will get busy potential customers to care about whatever it is you’re selling?  The Elevator Pitch puts your entire value proposition into a brief, rehearsed statement without jargon, that could be delivered in 30 to 60 seconds.  The Elevator Pitch also evolves as your business does, so plan on reworking it occasionally.

My clients often know the minutia of their business operations, and therefore can have difficulty articulating what makes their business unique in a concise way.  So part of what I do is help them distill their many features and benefits down to the one or two key points that truly make them stand apart from their competitors.  With those defined, we can start to build good marketing strategy.

A good marketing strategy is the foundation for success.  So, to get started on the road to success, develop an Elevator Pitch and then share it with your full service marketing firm during one of your initial meetings.  If it’s a good pitch, your agency will be excited and the hope is good creative will be the result.

Here are some resources for help in creating your own elevator pitch:

Mastering an Elevator Pitch from Inc.

The Perfect Elevator Pitch from Businessweek

10 Tips for a Great Elevator Pitch