What To Cut And What To Keep
One of the
characteristics of an effective Elevator Pitch is that it is like
an accordion; it is tailored to time you have and expands or
contracts accordingly. As a result, in many cases you will find
that you have to edit your Elevator Pitch so that it can be
delivered in the time that is available. If you are pressed for
time, it is generally best to cut things out of an Elevator Pitch
in the following order.
The Money is the first that should be cut because it is
secondary to what you are selling and can always be brought up at
a later point.
You should give a quick sense of The Benefits of your Solution in
your Summary Sentence so that you can postpone a more detailed
discussion until later.
If you give a high level definition of your Solution in your
Summary Sentence, then it often isn’t necessary to go into any
additional detail about it during your Elevator Pitch. A
discussion of the details of your Solution at can be
left up to a later conversation.
The Pain can be cut before The Problem because you cannot make
a profit if your innovation simply will not sell.
One of the main concerns an investor has is “Will it sell?”
Because The Problem addresses this question, it should be one of
the last things you cut.
While the details of The Customer can be left to a later conversation, you
should at least try to give the audience a sense of The Customer
because that gives context to your discussion of The Problem.
When to cut The Team depends on just how good of a team you
have assembled. If you have an ordinary team -- meaning that you
have some relevant experience, but nothing extraordinary like a
prior success in the field -- then The Team can be cut fairly
early. However, if you do have an extraordinarily experienced
team -- like we did at SalesLogix -- then if you are pressed for
time all you may want to talk about is your Summary Sentence and
The Team (and in some cases just The Team because that may be
enough to get the attention of the audience).
If you only have time to say one thing -- and you don’t have
an extraordinarily experienced team (and you probably don’t) --
then that one thing should be your Summary Sentence.