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Developing the Perfect Pitch

help developing a good elevator pitchWhat does your company do? Why are you better than your competitors? Dazzle me with your answer before I get off this elevator on the fifth floor.
The elevator pitch, so named because it should take you no longer than the average elevator ride to deliver, is your opportunity to captivate your audience. While this sounds fairly simple, it can be complex to sum up your mission passionately and succinctly. That’s why a well-crafted elevator pitch is handy, if not essential.

If you don’t have one, create one. If you do have one, revisit it frequently to keep it evolving with your brand. Some guidelines:

  • Start with the main point you want your audience to remember.
  • Think of your pitch as a conversation starter. You don’t want to say too much or too little.
  • Highlight what makes your company unique.
  • Create messaging tailored to each of your target audiences.
  • Make sure your pitch feels natural – you don’t want to seem insincere.
  • Engage the listener(s) with a question.


As you craft your elevator pitch, think of people you’ve met who have evoked excitement in you and others by simply talking about their work. Chances are, they had a well-crafted elevator pitch. Take cues from these people. What was it about their pitch that left an impression? How can you incorporate some of those elements into your own pitch?

Design a pitch that highlights your own strengths and the strengths of your company. Employ a conversational tone so you don’t sound like you are reciting from a set of notecards, and allow for variations – it doesn’t have to be exactly the same every time.

Your engaging question should be relevant to the solution your company provides. If you design websites for professional services, you could ask, “Does your company’s website incorporate a blog and calendar to keep subscribers up-to-date with your events and industry events?” With that one question, you have shown that you understand what they do and suggested that your company could offer a unique solution to that problem.

Test your pitch on coworkers, friends and family, then use their feedback to fine tune your pitch, and keep practicing. The more you practice your elevator pitch, the more confident and natural you will be.

Resources about developing an elevator pitch:

Elevator Pitch: Want to Make a Point? Just be Yourself

Six Tips for Perfecting your Elevator Pitch


See more articles on marketing, branding and social media from Pinstripe Marketing

Tampa Bay public relations


Nikki Devereux Joins Pinstripe Marketing

Nikki Devereux

We are thrilled to welcome Nikki Devereux to the Pinstripe family! She is one of those “more talent in her pinky finger” kind of people that will make a big impact for her clients. As a project manager, she helps develop competitive marketing strategies and creative communications that get results. We’ll also be taking advantage of her skills as a professional photographer and videographer. New portraits for everybody!

Nikki comes to us with both agency and in-house marketing experience, including her role as an instructional designer for Pinstripe client, Suncoast Hospice Institute, where she designed online education tools for hospice staff throughout the U.S.

Please join us in welcoming Nikki and give her a call if you’re ready to get started!

Tampa Bay public relations

Pinstripe Sponsors July Legal Marketing Association Meeting

Tampa Bay Legal MarketingTampa Bay legal marketing professionals will hear about a re-imagined sales process at the local Legal Marketing Association’s July meeting, sponsored by Pinstripe Marketing. Selling legal services can be a challenge when a client doesn’t have a pressing legal issue or urgent legal problem. The pressure to sell can sometimes look like “solutions in search of a problem” instead of first learning about a client’s vision, strategy and big picture.

Tracy LaLonde of Akina will address a key trend in legal business development and discuss “lawsulting” – business consulting and legal advising – the practice of packaging and sharing critical insights, knowledge and wisdom to generate new business leads and motivate clients to take action. Wisdom selling gives lawyers and law firms a tangible way to accelerate revenue, build a sales pipeline and develop authentic client relationships that out-behave the competition.


Thursday, July 24, 2015

11:30 a.m – 1:00 p.m.


Bank of America Plaza

101 East Kennedy Blvd.

8th Floor Conference Room

Tampa, FL 33602


Members – $20

Guests – $40


Register to attend

About Tracy LaLonde
Tracy LaLonde helps lawyers and law firms develop business. With a background in professional development, adult learning and marketing, she helps lawyers to become business partners with their clients. With an emphasis on clients’ needs, issues and opportunities, she has helped several hundred lawyers generate millions in business through Akina’s coaching and training offerings. Prior to joining Akina, Tracy worked in professional development in three law firms, and before entering the legal industry in 2000, she helped computer programmers become consultants in the high-tech industry as a skilled training facilitator.

About the Legal Marketing Association
The Legal Marketing Association ( is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs and maintaining the professional standards of the men and women involved in marketing within the legal profession.

About Pinstripe Marketing
Pinstripe Marketing is a full-service advertising and communications agency specializing in promoting professional services firms. Pinstripe’s services include strategic planning and implementation, marketing communications, advertising, event planning, media buying, web design, and public relations. For more information, please visit

Tampa Bay public relations

Helping bankruptcy lawyers break out of their shells

tradeshowPeople in marketing, advertising and communications are typically pretty extroverted. We have no problem walking into a room full of people we’ve never met and coming out with a new group of friends. It just comes naturally, and for that, we’re usually a well-connected bunch.

Perhaps it was for that reason I was asked to do a short presentation on networking at a reception for young lawyers at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges in Tampa this week.

It’s easy to coach the extroverts – approach individuals, ask about their ideal client, invite them for a follow-up coffee – there is rarely a situation that makes them uncomfortable.

But our poor, poor introverts. We have to start with the basics. Here is a bit of the homework I created for them:

  • Smile! Watch your body language. Don’t cross your arms or put your hands in your pockets. Put your phone away.
  • Ask questions and LISTEN – get your ice-breakers ready. One of the best networking questions is, “what kind of client is a good fit for you?”
  • Prepare ahead of time if you don’t think quickly on your feet – anticipate questions you’ll be asked and have answers ready
  • Introduce people who may not know one another, then ask for introductions

If you’re naturally introverted, find ways to get comfortable with networking
outside your practice area so you can give and get referrals. Become a well-rounded professional with participation in other business associations and civic organizations.

Throughout life, you have likely heard, “you only get out of it what you put into it.” This is particularly true of membership in organizations. You will always find the most value when you serve as a leader or part of a committee. The time and commitment is always worth it.

  • Bar Associations / Sections
  • Professional Associations (NACBA, ABI)
  • Local Business Groups and Programs
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Leadership Programs
  • Young Professional Associations
  • Alumni Associations

Non-Profit and Social Organizations

  • Arts
  • Animal Welfare
  • Community Service
  • Environmental
  • Sports Clubs

Particularly with non-profit service, it is important to select organizations and causes you are passionate about. Authenticity is essential and will allow you to stay motivated to serve.

Many people believe networking is simply attending events and collecting business cards. The best way to build a network is to become a connector. By looking for opportunities to connect others, people will begin to see you as a well-connected and trusted advisor.

  • Write a few notes on the back of their business card
  • Hand write ‘pleasure to meet you’ notes
  • Connect on LinkedIn
  • Invite to coffee (“I’d like to learn more about what you do so I can keep my ears open for opportunities”)
  • Send articles, reports, links and invitations to other events

Diane Darling’s How To Work a Room is a particularly nice graphic to illustrate how to network effectively. And one of my favorite books is, Never Eat Alone.

Then again, I’m an extrovert.

Tampa Bay public relations

Resolve to devote quality time to your customers

resolutionImagery of the passing year as a weary old man, and the coming 12 months as a smiling toddler, are common. For businesses, the symbolism is especially appropriate. As a healthy child should develop into maturity, business owners hope each new year brings growth to their companies.

And business growth is often predicated on marketing. While promoting a company can’t overcome a bad product or poor service (at least not in the long term), a well-devised marketing strategy can go a long way toward leveling the playing field within a competitive space.

Effective marketing requires a carefully conceived plan based on a consistent, coherent message being frequently presented to the proper audience. However, it’s not enough to simply know what points to cover and then check the boxes. Just as you wouldn’t burp a baby who hasn’t been fed, or give her a bath before she plays in a sand box, timing is important for every promotional activity.

A good plan conforms to the cycles of a business market. What do your customers want and when? For a few professional service providers there are some easy examples — tax services in the late winter and early spring for accountants, or flu shots in the late fall for medical offices. In such circumstances, one should obviously plan marketing initiatives in preparation for seasonal spikes. Even though professionals may think it “goes without saying” that they offer certain services, advertising is — at a minimum — a good defensive move that may pre-empt existing customers from trying out a competitor.

Yet doing what everyone else is doing doesn’t go very far when trying to grow a business. Transcend basic care to see your customer base thrive.

Think of marketing as spending “quality time” with your clientele. You need to periodically interact with your customers and fortify your relationship throughout the year via your marketing communications. Realistically, how often you can do so depends on your resources. Yet the times you miss out on reaching existing and potential customers represent real opportunity costs.

Would you want your customers to go longer than three months without your business once crossing their minds? How many periods of top of mind awareness do you think would be a minimum objective? Come up with a number and add to it any “seasonally mandated” advertising. This is the number of promotional cycles you want during the year. Keep this number in the back of your mind for a moment.

Next, determine how many people you need to reach to achieve the growth you want. How often will they need to see your message before you reach a point of diminishing returns on your advertising investment? Decide which media are best to carry your message. What level of work is required to produce the messaging you need? Now, what kind of investment will all this necessitate? This is how much a quality marketing cycle will require of your marketing budget.

Once you’ve gone through the costing exercise, you may decide that you don’t really need that much quality — Little Timmy (your customer) can just “amuse” himself. Unfortunately he will… and he won’t be giving your business a second thought.

But let’s assume your budget will cover effective initiatives equal to that minimal number of desired cycles. Simply space them out equally over the course of the year. From this time frame, you can plan your associated marketing activities throughout the upcoming twelve months. If by some chance you find yourself with more than enough money to do the minimum, determine whether your goals would be better served by enhancing each cycle or if you’d be better off with one or more additional marketing initiatives.

Keep in mind that each individual activity within every cycle should always support your brand identity to re-enforce your value proposition in the minds of your customers and prospects. This will add to the overall effectiveness of your marketing and your new year will grow up strong.

Tampa Bay public relations