If you are an inventor trying to sell or license you invention you will run into numerous instances where you only have less than a minute to get someone interested in your idea. In order to be prepared for these situations, you’ll need to create an “Elevator Pitch“.
In most cases you will only have a couple of minutes to sell a potential licensee to take a closer look at your idea. This is where the elevator pitch comes in. Imagine if you met a potential licensee or a product scout on an elevator. How would you pitch your idea if you had only 30 seconds to do it? You might say that crazy. There is no way it can be done. Unfortunately, in most cases 30 seconds is about as much attention as you are going to get from a potential licensee. So creating a sales pitch with that time frame in mind makes a lot of sense.
The formula for the perfect elevator pitch involves describing three things as succinctly and precisely as possible, these are the problem your invention solves, the solution your idea provides, and the potential market size of your product or service.
The first step in creating an elevator pitch is to come up with a one or two sentence statement that describes the problem that your invention will solve. Let me give you an example. Let’s pretend that you have a device that helps patients take their drugs correctly and on time. Here is a sentence you might come up with to describe the problem your device will solve. Prescription drug related problems – often caused by patients not taking their drugs correctly – cost an estimated $76 billion in medical bills.
The second step in creating an elevator pitch is to create a one or two sentence statement that shows how your invention will effectively solve the problem. Going back to our prescription reminder device example, we might state – The CompliMed system, will drastically decrease costs related to poor prescription drug compliance by not only reminding patient’s to take their drugs correctly, it will also collect and transmit compliance information to the patient’s pharmacist and physician.
The third step in creating an elevator pitch is to come up with a one or two sentence statement that describes how large and widespread the potential market is for your product. Let’s use the prescription reminder device to illustrate this step. Over fourteen million seniors take over five different prescription drugs per day. More than fifty percent of these seniors are taking their prescription drugs incorrectly.
The final step in making your elevator pitch is to take all of the information in your statements regarding the problem, the solution and the market size and distill them into one sentence. Using our prescription reminder device example we can state: The CompliMed prescription reminder device addresses a $76 billion problem related to added health care costs as a result of over 7 million seniors that are taking their prescription drugs incorrectly.
Now there are two more items that need to be included in an elevator pitch. One is passion. The other is a call for action. You should always end your pitch with an offer of your business card and for a request for an appointment to discuss your invention. If they decline your request, ask them for a referral to someone else they might know that would be interested in your idea.
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