How to “Otis” the Hell Out of a 30-second Pitch

Advice from Zain Zaffer on how to kill it with an elevator pitch

Originally in Crunchbase – February 26, 2020

Zain Jaffer knows elevator pitches the way Otis knows elevators. As a serial entrepreneur and the founder of an investment fund, Zain has seen a lot.

Jane Jaffer

Zain Jaffer is the Founder and CEO of Zain Ventures, and former Co-Founder and CEO of the Silicon Valley tech company Vungle, which was acquired by The Blackstone Group in 2019 for $780 million.

Here are some of his top tips for getting your point across in 30 seconds. The proverbial elevator pitch.

1. Identify your audience

An untargeted message will get lost in the crowd, so it’s important to target the right consumers before drafting your elevator pitch. When segmenting, it can be helpful to ask a particular set of questions. What kind of people might be interested in buying the product? What might motivate their purchasing decision? Knowing who will be purchasing the product and/or service in question—and why—will help you tailor your pitch accordingly and incite interest.

30 Seconds…GO!

2. Accentuate your strengths

Today’s market is inundated with similar-type products and services, so brand owners must do their due diligence to establish what makes their own commodity unique. How is their offering different from others? Does it satisfy a need or desire that isn’t currently met? Does it have a patent that doesn’t exist in the market?

When it comes to identifying a product’s unique selling features, each aspect must be carefully examined, and generally, the most efficient elevator pitch is built on one single selling feature.

3. Share your message

Once an elevator pitch has been drafted, it must be communicated to its target consumers. Brand owners should be aware that the consumer attention span is a short one; they will have less than one minute to capture the attention of their audience, so the elevator pitch must be brief and to the point. Ideally, the pitch should be no longer than 30 seconds, just as long as the message is clear and direct, and encompasses the brand’s vision in a unique and creative way. Your pitch should include:

  • Who you are
  • What you offer
  • What problem your brand solves
  • How your brand is different
  • A call to action

The right value proposition can propel one’s brand to the next level, which is why it is crucial that the sales team craft a unique message that makes waves in a sea of noise.

4. Practice makes perfect

Once you draft your pitch, practice it in front of others out loud. It should come across as natural and conversational. Practice your pitch in different situations and conversations until it comes completely natural to you and members of the sales team.