The 5 W’s of a Successful Elevator Pitch

I had read somewhere in the last year or two that elevator pitches were passé. That might be true in some quarters, but I was recently assigned an elevator pitch project, which caused me to revisit the old marketing standby.

Advice on elevator pitch content is all over the map. Ideally, as someone said, elevator pitches are crafted and delivered in language that your mom or the bus driver can understand.

As for what goes in them, I found an article at Microsoft.com to be especially helpful. From that article, following are 5 W’s to consider.

1. What does your company do? (This is where you mention your products or services.)

2. Whom does your company serve? (This is where you describe your clients, customers, or the industry or industries you serve.)

3. Why do they care? (This is where you mention the problem you solve or overarching benefit you provide–or both.)

4. Why is your company different? (This is an opportunity to uniquely position your company and pique further interest.)

5. What is your company? (This can be additional profile information. We’re an accounting firm that specializes in … )

While, as mentioned, there are many approaches to elevator pitches, the above 5 W’s can ensure that you cover the basics.