On Monday we walked you through the Top 5 Ways to do LinkedIn right, but what about those potential connections you meet out in the real life? How do you make sure that you are best prepared to turn a random encounter into a potentially meaningful connection? Enter: The Elevator Pitch.

We’ve all heard about the elevator pitch, the 30 second sales pitch which presents you, your business or your idea in the best possible way, in the short time of an elevator ride. But how do you craft the perfect pitch? Well there are four components you need to remember: What, Who, How and Why.

What: What is your product or idea? And how is it different from all of the competition out there? This isn’t just important in terms of your pitch, but also goes for your whole business strategy. Why should I buy your socks instead of your competitors’? What is so special about your product, that you can justify pushing it into a market already flooded with products.

Who: Who is your product for? Who benefits from this brilliant idea of yours? You might think; ‘but everyone will love my super pretty and comfy socks’ but try and be more specific. It might be that everyone who loves looking stylish, but also treasures feeling comfy will love them, but people who never wears socks or who aren’t inclined to pay attention to comfort, won’t be your target audience.

How: This is important because people want to feel assured that you have thought this through. How are you planning on manufacturing these socks? And how will they be distributed? Don’t go into detail, just show that you already have the systems in place or at least that you are working on it, and if you have a particular strong selling point in this area, include it. Are you socks going to be produced using fair trade bamboo in high working standard factories, include it.

Why: The why should pretty much be able to sum up the above points. Why have you been driven to producing these socks? What gap in the market are you filling? Who are you helping and why? What questions are your product trying to answer? So for our sock example your Why might be: We decided to produce Super Sock 2000 because we ourselves were frustrated with the lack of ethically produced, high quality socks, which would fit in with our fashionable lifestyle, but at the same time be extremely comfortable to wear.

Remember these four points the next time you craft an elevator pitch – and finally, remember to practice, practice, practice. Your pitch should be able to roll of your tongue as effortlessly as pressing that 3rd Floor button in the elevator.

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