Many years ago I worked for a short while in the commercial real estate industry as an assistant to a successful broker. He would send letters and leave voicemails using what he called the “blood in the water” technique. Like a shark would come sniffing around to learn more upon detecting blood in the water, he would give the recipient just enough information to pique their interest, but not enough that they knew the whole story. This would, ideally, prompt them to follow up with him to learn more about the opportunity.

And that’s exactly what your elevator pitch should be doing.

The purpose of your elevator pitch is to make people want to take action to follow up with you.

They might be following up to buy your product, schedule a meeting, ask more questions, sign up for your newsletter – doesn’t matter. Continuing the interaction is what’s important.

So, how do we structure an elevator pitch to do just that? It’s a question I’ve gotten frequently while working with entrepreneurs to spread the message of their businesses, and I’ve come up with a simple approach. I just launched a new tool, the Pitch Builder, to help you craft a great elevator pitch for your product, startup, non-profit, event, or other endeavor, using this five-statement structure:

  1. Problem Statement
  2. Shortcoming Statement
  3. Solution Statement
  4. Validation Statement
  5. Action Statement

What pain are you eliminating? Why do the current approaches suck? How are you uniquely alleviating that pain? Are people valuing your solution? How can I learn more? These are all questions your elevator pitch needs to address – in about 30 seconds or less. It’s a challenge, for sure.

You may have heard the saying, “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” Being brief is hard. But if you care at all about being remembered, it’s necessary. Try out my free Pitch Builder and see if it helps you drill down to the most valuable and memorable sound bites of your business. Then get out there and test your new pitch! I’m betting more sharks will come sniffing around to learn more.