Crafting the Perfect Elevator Pitch for Your Tech Firm
Everyone needs to hear the short and sweet version of who you are, what you do and how you can help them. Perfecting an elevator pitch that expresses exactly what you're capable of and speaks to your core audience is a must. Attention spans are trending downwards and our need to network quickly is becoming more important.
We heard back from dozens of professionals in the tech industry and related fields such as HSC.TV and many others. The eight captions below offer some unique insight into helping you craft your very own elevator pitch that simply works.
1. Focus on Customer Needs
How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
“By pursuing a relentless focus on the customer and their needs in specific industries, retail and manufacturing, for example.”
“Retail organizations today are dealing with an increasing number of digital threats. In fact, cyber-crime damage costs are expected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021. Have you as a retailer explored all possibilities to keep your organization and your customers’ information safe?
Make headlines for the right reasons. eMazzanti Technologies specializes in situations just like yours. With leadership QIR and QISSP certified and an active member of the PCI Security Standards Council, we know what it takes to keep your business safe. We’ll get you EMV integrated, keep you PCI DSS compliant, and ensure your network is secure and monitored every second of the day.”
By Carl Mazzanti, President and Co-founder, eMazzanti Technologies
2. Quickly & Clearly Demonstrate Value
“Creating the perfect elevator pitch for your business is all about quickly and clearly demonstrating your value to your audience. Don’t just talk about what you do or what new features your product has. Instead, talk about how your product or company can create real positive change for your customers.
Below are examples of 2 of our elevators pitches. The first is short, simple, and explains the benefits of using our platform without being too explicit about what the product is.
The second explains a bit about the product and then demonstrates its value.
- Whetstone Education: Whetstone helps get teachers better, faster.
- Whetstone is an instructional coaching software platform that schools use to identify teachers’ professional growth needs and subsequently provide feedback and coaching to help improve their individual practice.
If your elevator pitch is much longer than 1-2 sentences, listeners may lose interest or misunderstand your product. Keep it short and keep it simple every time.”
By Libby Fischer, CEO of Whetstone Education
3. Promote Your Solution Not Yourself
“Great question for the tech field, because if you actually start to explain what you DO, the listener's eyes glaze over. The best solution? Explain what the person gets. Not what you do. Or explain what problem you solve for them. Again, not saying what you do. And use simple words that someone brand new to your field would understand.
My example of what we actually DO: We write Alexa skills and Google Actions for bloggers so they can make their blogs available in audio format on smart speakers – this is confusing to those who aren't familiar with programming in the smart speaker world.
Our elevator speech of what they get (which keeps getting simpler): We turn your written blog posts into audio and put them onto the new platform of smart speakers like Google Home and Alexa.
Then the secondary pitch, since smart speakers are relatively new: We write a voice app that takes your written blog post, fixes it up, and gives it to a smart speaker to read aloud to anyone who asks for your blog.”
By Pam Edwards, Founding Partner at Create My Voice
4. Sell Your Passion
“The first tip is always to be yourself don't try to fully replicate anybody else or the pitch won't come off as real.
You're selling your passion. Without that, no one will believe you can do this.
Even though you can be competing against some big businesses, if you show that you're confident and that you truly believe you can be on their level, investors will believe in you.
Below is my pitch as an example…
My company is Chango. We provide a personal finance solution with financial literacy. This is something that matters to me as I have been in debt and know people who have. I want to help people avoid that problem. We provide a solution that works for you in a bias-free way. Providing you an easy way to stay on top of your finances, and financial education our guides are meant to be simple, interactive and informative.”
By Alfred Junco of Chango
5. Keep Your Target Audience In Mind
“It’s a great question because too many tech companies are unable to get out of the mindset that they are building some indescribable tool or technology. That’s not a way to sell!
I am Arthur Germain, Principal & Chief Brandteller at Communication Strategy Group, a brand storytelling agency that works with technology solution providers and other firms to help them simplify and share brand stories to connect with prospects and customers.
At Communication Strategy Group we recommend starting with a central core statement that describes your purpose, then build from there with more description. Too often we see tech companies do this the other way around – ‘We build gigabit Ethernet wifi switches‘ instead of ‘we connect brand offices so your team can focus on your retail customers.' We recommend keeping your target audience in mind and incorporating them into your statements.
For example, our client Island tech Services (ITC) wanted to describe what they did and who they served as they expanded their geography. At their core, ITS provides first responders with the critical tools and technology they need to keep the communities they serve safe. We talked with ITS about not getting into the weeds with the types of technologies, but rather, keeping it high-level and focused on three areas – in the office, in the field and in mobile command vehicles. Here is what we came up with as a positioning statement:
Island Tech Services (ITS) delivers advanced technology, mobility and vehicle solutions to business professionals, first responders and public sector employees. We help customers incorporate technology in their work to increase performance, efficiency and security. We offer an integrated set of technologies and services spanning from headquarters, to field techs, to command vehicles. We deliver peace of mind so you can deliver peace and safety.
And here is what we developed as an elevator pitch:
Island Tech Services (ITS) integrates technology solutions from headquarters, to field techs, to command vehicles to increase performance, efficiency and security.
This has been a winning brand storytelling strategy – ITS this week announced it had expanded to reach more regions by opening additional sales offices and vehicle facilities all using the same targeted message.”
By Arthur Germain, Principal & Chief Brandteller, Communication Strategy Group
6. A Boxing Metaphor
“Having crafted dozens of elevator pitches in very noisy tech spaces throughout my career, I've started to change the metaphor from an elevator ride to boxing. First, you need a jab; a version of the pitch that's quick, surprising, and will get someone's attention. Then build on that and come up with other versions that you'll need in a ‘fight,' remembering that it must be mastered by those with different levels of acumen and in different settings. Give your fighters options they can take into the ring and break free of designing it simply for marketing and sales. Every employee, customer, and partner are the ultimate brand ambassadors and can lend enormous volume to your story and help you win the fight.
Most recent pitch punch, the jab edition: Zaius is the world's only B2C CRM that connects customer data, predicts their behaviors, and orchestrates all of your marketing campaigns.”
By Kyle Flaherty, CMO at Zaius
7. Include Quantifiable Accomplishments & Examples
Here are a couple of great responses from two of the general managers at Lucas Group, which was named the #3 executive search firm in the nation by Forbes in 2018.
The first comes from David Armendariz, general manager of the technology division. David has been with Lucas Group for nearly 15 years and is constantly working with candidates to know the right things to say when they get in front of clients. Here is his response to your query:
“An elevator pitch is critical when a candidate is speaking with recruiters, hiring managers and HR professionals. A candidate’s elevator pitch should include their value, including quantifiable accomplishments that show how they have helped a company make money or save money. These results should also show how they moved the business forward to assist the organization in reaching its strategic goals. It should not be generic or fluff. For example, saying they have great organizational and communication skills and that they work well with others. Everyone uses those phrases, and an elevator pitch should help differentiate a candidate from their competition.”
The second comes from Tom McGee, vice president and general manager of the sales & marketing practice group. Tom has been with Lucas Group since 1985 and has seen it all in recruiting, and here is what he had to say about the perfect elevator pitch:
“Interviewers are looking for candidates to be direct and to the point. Candidates should have the knowledge of what the interviewer is looking for based on their recruiter or from the job description they were given or saw online. It is essential for candidates to point out examples of the work they have done that matches what the client is looking for. Where candidates go wrong in an interview is answering the question and then continuing to talk, instead of stopping and waiting for the next question. You have to be concise and stay on message – just talking for the sake of talking won’t help you. The key for a candidate is to point out how they have made their recent company money or saved them money.”
By David Armendariz and Tom McGee of The Lucas Group
8. How You Can Help
“My advice for elevator pitches is to re-frame your pitch away from ‘what we do', towards ‘how we help' or ‘what problem we solve.' The idea is to focus more on how your tech solution helps your customers or solves a specific problem, rather than focusing solely on product features. At Chatter Research, my elevator pitch is straight forward: ‘Retailers and restaurants have a hard time collecting valuable feedback from customers. We help them to get a higher quantity and quality of customer feedback using AI-powered text message conversations.'”
By Shawn Ragell, Director of Growth Marketing at Chatter Research