In the age of texts, tweets, and emails, people want their information brief, fast, and in 100 characters or less. With such constraints, many law firm lawyers feel overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to elicit business without sounding like a cattle auctioneer.
While we are competing with thousands of sound bites of information on a daily basis, an effective tool is available to cut through this web of data overload — the elevator pitch. Below, we highlight five easy tips lawyers can follow to execute an effective elevator pitch….
1. The elevator pitch is a quick preview of the services you can provide to potential or current clients. To develop your pitch, start with defining who you and your firm are, and what services you provide. Often times, attorneys cannot convey exactly what they can do beyond the current work assignment they are working on. Take the time to review your firm’s website and take an inventory of the projects that you and your contemporaries have recently handled. By getting a firm understanding of what you have done, you will be in a better position to explain what you and your firm are capable of.
2. Like the ride on an elevator, your pitch should be no longer than 30 seconds. After you have had a chance to assess what you are “selling,” start summarizing the main points. Do not overwhelm the recipient with extensive information — if your elevator pitch is successful, you will invite the listener to ask more questions, and thereby have the chance to expand your pitch further.
3. Pay attention to your audience. Although you have a short time to execute your pitch, you can make quick adjustments to get your desired reaction. As such, you should be ready to customize it to the person or group intended.
4. With everything you do, practice makes perfect. Practice your elevator pitch with your colleagues and friends. They can confirm whether your message is on point, makes sense, and effectively describes what you do. A non-attorney acquaintance is a good medium to use to assure the simplicity of your elevator pitch. If a layperson cannot understand who you are, what you can offer, and how it can fix a problem, you will need to readjust your pitch.
5. An elevator pitch does not always need to be “solution-oriented.” In fact, some can be just as effective if they include a “hook,” because it signifies there is a creative element to them. A hook in an elevator pitch more often than not includes something memorable or unique that isn’t necessarily objectively specific to what the person does. Regardless of the method you use, the main purpose is to keep the conversation going by igniting the listener’s interest.