Sponsored by George Fox University
Home Archives June 2007 Sales: The importance of the one-minute pitch

Sales: The importance of the one-minute pitch

| Print |  Email
Friday, June 01, 2007

BusinessPitch.jpg“We are here to make happy fish. Happy fish are profitable fish.” Did that statement get your attention? Presented at the University of Oregon’s New Venture Championships recently, it’s an example of an elevator pitch. An effective one should capture the listener’s attention, make her interested in hearing more and take up no more than a minute of her time. Or the amount of time you’d have in an elevator ride.

Distilling your business plan in advance into a one-minute pitch is a good way to be prepared for a chance meeting with someone who could help your business grow. “There’s going to be that opportunity, short in nature, to inform someone,” says Randy Swangard, managing director of UO’s Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship.

Bernie Hansen, founder and manager of Business Diagnostics LLC, a consulting company in Tri-Cities, Wash., says a good elevator pitch is a concise, clear summary of a company. “It’s like a good joke,” he says, easy to tell and understand but most importantly, “the listener should remember enough to reasonably communicate it to a third party.”

A pitch should communicate the following about your business, and do it in 60 seconds:  

Identity: This can be as straightforward as a simple introduction or as elaborate as setting a specific scene in the listener’s mind. Keep the introduction short to allow plenty of time to dive into the main argument — why the captive audience should be interested in your company.

Purpose: “Be very clear on what are the essential elements of the business,” says Hansen. Keep explanations simple, as time is limited. Technical terms and jargon can come in subsequent meetings. “Detail will only trip someone up,” says Hansen. However, remember to include what he terms “take-aways,” key information you want a person to know. Simple metaphors can save time and help an audience make a quick connection.

Business plan: The speaker needs to be convincing and credible to allow the listener to understand and repeat the message. This is an opportunity to explain the necessity of your company’s product in the marketplace. Swangard says it’s important to outline your company’s potential to solve a specific problem. Time permitting, briefly define your company’s business model. Swangard says you need to explain, “Why is it that you can do this when no one else can?”

Financial needs: Now it’s time to drive your request home by clearly stating how much money you need and how you’ll spend it. “We are looking for $500,000 to expand statewide,” gives an investor a better idea of their contribution’s value than, “We need $500,000.”

A unique edge: This is what Swangard calls the “secret sauce.” “It’s something unique that gives you a competitive edge,” he says. “No one bets on the horse, they bet on the jockey.” At the conclusion of the pitch, your audience should understand why your company deserves an investment. If you’ve been successful, you should have a business card in your pocket before the elevator doors close. 

— Colleen Moran


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

EPA Standards: A breath of fresh air for the region

News
Thursday, June 12, 2014
EPABY ANDREA DURBIN | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Last week, the Obama administration took an important and welcomed step in the effort to protect the health and well-being of all Oregonians by limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants.


Read more...

OB Video: Building trade ties with the EU

News
Monday, June 16, 2014
BritEmbCampionBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

The Oregon economy could get a boost from a new trade agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and the European Union.


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

Oversight? Or gaming the system?

News
Monday, July 14, 2014
AmazonBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.


Read more...

The global challenge

News
Friday, June 27, 2014
062714 thumb globalmarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.


Read more...

Understanding Oregon medical marijuana dispensary tenants

News
Friday, June 13, 2014
061314 thumb grassrentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST BLOGGER

This article summarizes the key considerations a building owner must keep in mind when thinking about leasing to a medical marijuana dispensary.


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS