When someone starts a business, they spend countless hours on their business plan, legal agreements, marketing material, office setup, accountant selection, and countless other crucial tasks. One simple task that is often overlooked – if not excluded all together – is crafting your 60 second elevator pitch.

While it is the year 2016 with technology and the internet found everywhere, basics are still important: the need for a well-crafted 60-second elevator pitch is more important than ever before. Even for me, a guy who owns a website design company, face-to-face networking is crucial. Many of the referrals I receive are based on the networking that I do. Part of the success I’ve achieved with networking is based on my 60 second introductions.

When I give an elevator pitch, I don’t attempt to cover everything my business does; in fact, I’m really not even looking to make a sale. All I’m looking to do is grab someone’s attention long enough to get them to say, “I’d like to go have a cup of coffee with Chris.” It’s really that simple. Then, over coffee, I can go into greater detail about what I do and what my business can do for them.

When I give an elevator pitch, there are really only 3 things I aim to convey to the audience – what I do, who I am, and (most importantly) why I’m different than my competition. That third piece, why I’m different, is most important for a few reasons. It not only separates me from my competitors, but it helps to highlight the unique sales proposition of my company. It also helps others to view me personally as a key resource, not just a service broker. Most importantly, though, it is that piece of the introduction that will resonate with most people and will likely be what they remember most about me.

Your elevator pitch is often someone’s first introduction to your business. Don’t squander the opportunity by rambling on about nothing. Take the time to fine tune and rehearse your elevator pitch. Even with all of today’s technology, business is still about interacting with other people, and sometimes you only get 60 seconds to do that. Make the most of it.

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