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Everyone who has started their own business has been there. You know you have a great idea but no one else seems to get it. It’s a crushing feeling.

I’m sure there has been a time when you’ve met someone and excitedly told them what it is you do – expecting their eyes to light up and tell you how great you are. But the response you actually get is a blank look, a nod and a ‘that sounds great, good luck.’

It’s probably happened to you more than once, and it’s so frustrating. What’s even more frustrating is when you know that the person who just gave you the zombie stare is a potential client or investor, and you’ve just been completely overlooked.

It’s ok, you’re not the only one. As I said, nearly everyone who has started a business has suffered from this. The ones that are successful are those that quickly figure out exactly how to explain their brilliant idea in a concise way that makes their audience interested and excited.

There are some fundamental principles that will help you develop a killer elevator pitch – one that will get your potential customers and investors hooked

 

The 5 principles for communicating your idea

  1. Know your purpose
    If you know why you’ve started your business, and how your idea will change the world, then it makes it a whole lot easier to get your audience excited about it.
  2. Understand your audience
    In order to communicate with your audience, first you need to decide exactly who they are – if when asked who you audience is, you respond with ‘anyone who needs it’ or ‘any SME’ then you need to think again.
  3. Sympathise with their pain
    If your idea isn’t solving a particular problem – whether that be an emotional or logical one – then it’s unlikely that anyone will ever buy, or invest in it. Products only sell if there is demand, demand is created from people needing to solve a problem.
  4. Keep it simple Avoid waffle
    The biggest trap all start-ups fall into is over explaining their idea. They are often so eager for everyone to see how clever they are and how special their idea is, that it comes across as a real bore-fest. Quite frankly, your audience doesn’t care about you and how great you are, they just want to know how your idea is relevant to them.
  5. Be distinctive
    We’ll explore this in greater detail later in the series, but essentially you need to look and sound different to your competition – avoid using the same language, try developing your own terminology or tell unique stories that back up your brilliant idea.

Chances are, you see the zombie stare more often than you’d like. And it’s probably already affected your business. It may have stopped you getting invited to pitch, signing up an early adopter, or even slowed the scaling of your business. Hopefully, by applying some of the points above you’ll be able to create a killer elevator pitch that will get you noticed.

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