Whether you’re at a trade show, in the throes of a lengthy email chain, or just chatting with fellow shoppers at your local grocery store, there is one thing that CPG people hold dear—the ability to tout their product at a moment’s notice.
The elevator pitch—the quick and dirty spiel about your product that you can recite in as short of time as possible—is something that can be wholly intimidating and wildly difficult for many people, yet is essential to getting your brand in front of the right eyes. If it’s too long, you can quickly lose your audience’s interest. Too short, and they’re left wondering what it is you’re trying to sell them. Nailing the sweet spot takes trial and error, but if you keep in mind these four steps, you’ll be able to fine-tune your pitch, so it’s at the ready the next time you’re at a trade show, a new client meeting or maybe even the produce section on a Saturday morning.
1. Pinpoint your product
It sounds a bit obvious, but it can’t be stated enough: Know what your product is/does. If you can’t describe your product in one sentence—and the shorter the sentence, the better—you will immediately lose your audience. Being able to describe your product succinctly conveys confidence in the product.
2. Have multiple pitches at the ready.
It’s not always going to be the same person in the same venue who asks about your product. It could be a marketing executive at a trade show or a buyer you sat next to on a panel. Maybe it’s the vice president of a company looking to try a new direction, who also happens to be your aunt. Whoever is asking about your product, have a pitch ready for that person in that context. That doesn’t mean a million different pitches memorized for any possible moment, but it does mean have pitches that can easily be altered or tailored to the situation at hand. Your language and brevity (or length) that may be appropriate for one circumstance (say, a casual encounter) may not be suitable for another (say, a formal business meeting).
3. Know what you’re up against.
If your product is innovative, but not the first and only product of its kind to market, don’t pretend that it is. Know your competition, and acknowledge—then differentiate against—it. Being able to describe succinctly how your product stacks up against the competition shows your audience not only that you have confidence in your product, but that you’ve also done your homework on the category overall.
4. Keep them wanting more.
While your pitch should answer the main points of what makes your product great, don’t give away all your secrets in one go. Include a few open-ended details that will pique the interest of your audience, and make them curious enough to follow up to find out the answers.