3 Components Of The Perfect Elevator Pitch

After filming two seasons of Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch, I’ve come to realise that there are three key elements to delivering the perfect pitch.

Our show is unique when it comes to pitching: Potential entrepreneurs have just one minute to pitch their idea, service or product. Those 60 seconds have added pressure because the contestants are being filmed, and they are talking to a camera (instead of people) while riding up to the penthouse suite in an elevator.

In real life, with a different set of distractions, it’s essential to know how to deliver a convincing elevator pitch. Whether you are pitching a product, a service or yourself, here are the three essential components in a pitch:

  1. Stimulate interest
  2. Transition that interest
  3. Share a vision.

Can you stimulate interest?

The first step, stimulating interest, is the most important. In fact, an “elevator pitch” is usually determined by the limited amount of time you have, and circumstances may only give you the opportunity to stimulate interest. If you do a good job of stimulating interest, this can yield a second opportunity, where you transition that interest and share a vision with those you are pitching to.

Keep in mind that people generally buy based on emotion, using logical reasons as their impetus for action. So, make a point to connect with them emotionally in order to stimulate their interest. Don’t be afraid to show your feelings; demonstrate high energy and excitement for your idea, business or service. Your passion and belief need to come through in your pitch!

Use the 100/20 Rule to your advantage: Have the energy that you are providing R100 worth of value and only asking for R20 in return. This attitude will generate enough attention, giving you the opportunity to transition the interest that you’ve garnered.

Make the transition

But people don’t buy exclusively on emotion. There needs to be some logic in the decision to make a purchase. Therefore, you must address some sort of pain, fear or guilt in your pitch, that those without your product or service may experience. And if you can illustrate how you (efficiently) solve a big problem, you’ll have more statistical success in your elevator pitch.

Making a genuine connection can help you transition interest. Learn to make yourself equal, then make yourself different.

Simply having connections to the same people or a point of similarity in your backgrounds will help bridge the gap with those you are pitching. Then you can emotionally connect, following that up with the logic portion of your pitch.

Transition the interest you’ve generated with a clear explanation of what differentiates you. Build credibility by discussing your sales, distribution, revenue, awards and/or successes. All of these different ways to “attract” allow you to segue from emotion to the logical reasons to buy.

Of course, it is of the utmost importance to be honest when you are pitching. The truth always comes out, so ensure that you aren’t over-promising with your pitch. Don’t create a void that you are unable to fill.

What’s your vision?

Finally, in order to excel when sharing a vision, you need to have a value proposition that backs the 100/20 Rule. Make the value that you bring to the table as clear as possible. The value you’re asking for in return also needs to be clear. If you don’t display confidencein what you’re asking for, you won’t instill confidence in those you ask.

Tell others exactly what you want, why you want it and what you’re willing to give in return. You should have already proved your valuation when transitioning interest, then reiterated that valuation as you progressed in the pitch.

Take the people you are pitching through the reasons why you can be of value to them, the impact that you can have on their life or organisation and the capabilities you (or your product/service) possess that makes working together beneficial for all involved.

Practice your pitch, then get rich

After following each of these three steps, close with one simple question to gauge whether you are aligned or not: “Can you see any reason you wouldn’t want to move forward?”

If you utilise your pitch to stimulate interest in your product/service/self, transition that interest, then share a vision with those you are pitching to, the answer is almost always a resounding “no.”

And if you get objections or rejections, so what? Address whatever objections there are and if you still can’t get aligned, that’s OK. Take the perspective that the universe has a set number of rejections you need to get to before you find the right partner.

Be grateful for an opportunity to prove others wrong, and believe that if you keep working on your pitch, product, service or self, everything will come to you in the right way at the perfect time.

This article was originally posted on on Entrepreneur.com.

WATCH: Varsity was not for him, entrepreneurship was his call

CAPE TOWN – Freddy Mahhumane decided that varsity was not for him and founded his own IT company, Open-Technik.

Gauteng-based Mahhumane was studying IT, specialising in Software Development when he decided that he wanted to start his very own company. He then gave up on his studies and dropped out of varsity.

He says that wanted to create more solutions using open source software. He then realised that he is actually good at what he does when he won an award as the best Newcomer at global software enterprise company, Novell South Africa’s awards.

Mahhumane then equipped himself with the technical skills in order for him to compete in the industry. He says that he had to learn continuously in order to position himself favourably in the competitive industry.

Open-Technik grew exponentially and now has a client base of 1 000 clients and has created over 50 different software. The IT company operates country-wide, with one of their biggest clients in Rustenburg in the North West. Mahhumane says that he is always looking to improve his business and take it to great heights.

“As a young entrepreneur, I always look to improve my business and take it to great heights, all my achievements are in the past and I have to work even harder to stay competitive”. This is the key to his success.

His journey to entrepreneurship however did not come easy. He says that it was tough at the beginning to gain the trust of clients and to get them on board. Yet, he aimed high and says that through hard work, he could provide an efficient service.

He was also able to grow his client base by means of a strategic approach. “My strategy was to work with clients only. I started an approach where I would only work with clients who were 10 times bigger than my business. The bigger the clients I signed there more respect we gained in the industry”, said Mahhumane.

He was also a speaker at independent start up community, StartUpGrind Johannesburg. “I was glad I was able to share my story and motivate young and up coming entrepreneurs”, said Mahhumane.

Mahhumane proves to be a serial entrepreneur in his own right. He is involved in several other projects, including an app he developed that provides a car wash service, Kool Wash. “This is our latest innovation, a digital car wash service that looks at creating more jobs and entrepreneurs. From the app, a user can send a request and get their car washed at home. The app is mostly mostly suited for Estate living”, says Mahhumane.

When asked what advice he would give aspiring entrepreneurs, Mahhumane says he encourages the youth to learn an open source skill like JAVA programming or Linux OS administration. This will teach individuals about where the world is going, he says.  “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. So the man with courage is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear” – Entrepreneurship is scary world, but be courageous in whatever you do and keep learning all the time.

Mahhumane has utilised his knowledge and opened up a public platform where he shares business advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. Community group, Young Black Entrepreneurs was launched on Facebook. “The group was created to answer all the questions I struggled to get answers for when I started my business as an entrepreneur. The greatest gift of being a leader is to be able to share and improve others as well. So this group gives an opportunity for other entrepreneurs to market themselves and learn while doing it”, said Mahhumane.

He says that there is definitely a scarcity of entrepreneurs in SA. Mahhumane believes that we need to create an aptitude of innovation and learning which will in effect create more entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurship is a culture that motivates, up-skills and helps give back to our community.  But being an entrepreneur must be about problem solving, so definitely because of the problems we need to solve we must create more entrepreneurs”.

Mahhumane shares with us an exciting project that he is currently working on, an Open Source school for the underprivileged youth. This school will train the youth to use open source software. This will improve their understanding of technology and assist them in adopting a culture where they will be challenged to create solutions, concludes Mahhumane.

Source: Business Report

Startups Looking to Maximize Technologies Should Do This

For many startups, especially hardware ones, building a product isn’t cheap. There are expensive parts and machinery, along with costly technology.

To help decrease the costs, many entrepreneurs are turning to collaborative spaces that provide shared resources, like 3-D printers, wood shops and metalworking equipment. One being Alex Chatham.

 

Source: Entrepreneur

 

#EntrepreneurCorner: Start making money in 2018

Cape Town – In this week’s entrepreneur corner small business coach Anton Ressel talks about the tricky issue of how entrepreneurs should work out the correct price for their services and products and not sell themselves short.

“I think where most entrepreneurs really struggle around charging fair prices…. it’s a confidence issue,” says Ressel.

He says that many entrepreneurs, as the “new kids on the block”, feel obligated to be cheaper than the established competition.

But he adds that this approach may undervalue the advantages that entrepreneurs bring to the market, particularly in the realm of customer service.

“The better service that you give – if you work overtime, if you work after hours, if you come in on a Sunday – that’s all going to cost you more, because you are going to have to pay your staff overtime etc,” he says.

“So if you are providing that sort of level of service and delivery to your client, you are entitled to charge more for it. I think this is where a lot of entrepreneurs struggle.”

He advises entrepreneurs to not try and compete established business on price, quality and service at the same time.

“Entrepreneurs have to be conscious of which two elements that they are going to really own,” he syas.

Source: Fin24

 

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