Just read a great article about successful entrepreneurs who bootstrapped their way to success using email outreach. This got me thinking about how you could apply these tips more broadly – and recreate a virtual elevator pitch only via email but through social media.
If you had 30 seconds in an elevator with your dream ask, how would you approach them?
Tip 1: Use a compelling, irresistible, gotta-read-this subject line or headline that your intended reader simply can’t ignore.
Get to the point – you really do have limited real estate and time to connect – but make it something that your audience can’t resist.
My additional tip: Segment, segment, segment! What’s important to one reader or group of readers may be vastly different than another. Make your virtual elevator pitch directly to your specific audience.
Example: you are a real estate agent.
A buyer has different needs than a seller. An investment buyer has different criteria than a home buyer. A commercial leasing company has different markets than a residential leasing company. Segment and micro-target your subject line to appeal to that reader.
Understand that a successful virtual elevator pitch will intrigue your prospect – and demonstrate that you understand them.
Tip 2: Ask for advice – who doesn’t want to feel like an expert?
Make it very specific, and targeted exactly to their experience and market.
My additional tip: Understand that you DON’T know it all – but you can find someone else does. Make your virtual elevator pitch to their particular experience.
The more you can niche down the ask for advice to the particular area that the person is known for, the better your chance at success.
If you’re looking for help with a funding decision, ask advice from someone know for putting together or advising on these types of deals. And make the ask specific: don’t ask a VC a general question that you could Google, instead ask them why they chose A over B and whether that makes sense in this situation. This flatters them in two ways: first, you are showing that you understand their very special area of knowledge; second, you did enough research to ask a very specific question.
People LIKE being flattered and asked for advice, but only when it feels like you did the legwork to understand their particular expertise – and your ask is for help they can quickly deliver.
Tip 3: Ask for something it’s hard to say no to – get them saying yes to small things.
Sell people on the idea of helping before they actually have to do something.
My additional tip: Understand the magnitude of what you’re asking – and get small wins. Make your virtual elevator pitch easy to say yes to.
Let’s say you are trying to understand the feasibility of a new product. Asking people to take a 2-3 question survey that takes one minute or less AND gives them something (access to results, a report based on the results, early view of a solution) is an easier ask than a 10-minute commitment.
If your pitch is for a survey is to fix a common pain or uncover a better way to do something, you have a better chance. (This assumes that you ALSO followed Tip 1 and Tip 2 and precisely targeted your ask,)
Tip 4: Follow up – no one buys on the first ask.
If you followed Tip 1 – 3, now it’s time to REALLY make things happen: follow up.
My additional tip: Keep making your virtual elevator pitch – but don’t be a pest.
It’s likely that your subject receives dozens or even hundreds of emails a day. Seeing your name, your well-crafted subject line (which is hard to say no to) DRAMATICALLY increases your chance of them responding.
Check this before you hit send (again):
- You micro-targeted your audience and have an irresistible subject line
- You’re writing very specifically
- You asked for something that’s hard to say no to
Now it’s time for the magic: Follow. Up.
While the money may be in the list, you don’t build the list without persistence. Your pitch should focus on a small win and then build the relationship.
Tip 5: Make the email what you promised in the subject line or headline
My additional tip: (Over)deliver what you promised in the subject line. Once they open your virtual elevator pitch, make it more than worth their time.
- Short: better chance of a response until you’ve built an actual relationship
- Targeted: specific ask that fits who they are and their expertise
- Easy to say yes: don’t expect them to do your work – make it a no-brainer for them to help with
- Amazing: it should be something that appeals directly to why you reached out to them in the first place
Now go write THAT email or social media post and let me know your successful virtual elevator pitch.