Whether you’re presenting to a group of business professionals or networking one-on-one, you need an elevator pitch for your business. Think – how would you summarize your business, products, or services if you only had an elevator ride to convince someone to take action?

An elevator pitch is most commonly associated with talking to investors, but the purpose can range from seeking capital to asking for comments on your Instagram giveaway post. Long story short, you need one, no matter what industry your company occupies.

You should keep an elevator pitch in your back pocket because you never know who you’re going to meet. Nobody wants to be that business owner who’s surprised by a networking opportunity and comes off totally unprepared!

Luckily, all it takes is a simple three-step formula to create an elevator pitch on the spot. It’s just like riding a bike, once you get the formula down, you never forget how to do it again. Let’s take a look at what your elevator pitch should include.

Part One: Why You Do What You Do

Start your elevator pitch not by telling someone what you do but rather why you do it. Your passion makes for a much more intriguing introduction than simply listing your services.

Sharing why you do what you do creates an instant emotional connection with your audience and encourages them to keep listening. People crave authenticity.

Part Two: How You’ve Helped Other People

Once you’ve hooked your audience with your drive, give a real-life example of how you apply it. Tell an anecdote (or multiple, depending on how much time you have) about ways you’ve helped your clients or customers thrive.

Try selecting customer stories that align with the goals or values of the person to whom you’re speaking. For example, if I was speaking to a networking group with tons of different professionals, I’d probably tell a story about how we helped a client with branding to include services like logo design, web design, branding, copywriting, etc. However, if I were talking to a potential new client who was only interested in a logo, I would use this part of my elevator pitch to share specific examples of how we’ve provided visual identities for clients in the past.

Part Three: Call-To-Action

The final part of your elevator pitch should detail how you want the audience to respond and how they will benefit from taking that action. For example, if you’re talking to a potential client, you may want them to follow you on social media or send you an email. Alternatively, if you’re talking to a potential investor, you may want to set up a meeting to discuss your business in greater detail.