Sometimes an elevator pitch needs to be taken back to square one. When my students work on them during our trainings, they often end up with something entirely different than what they started with.
Most of this is due with using the wrong criteria or having the wrong intentions. The average elevator pitch is bogged down with buzzwords and technology or has a by-the-numbers expectation, like “I want to tell you all about my product line, now write me a check.” A customer shrinks from this because it’s shortsighted and ridiculous. Wouldn’t you?
I tell my students that an elevator pitch is a 15-second exercise in selling the right to command that person’s attention for the next five to ten minutes. With that in mind, your pitch completely transforms. Why should this person even listen to you? What are you offering to them? Few offerings in life can be sold in 15 seconds. It takes more time. How are you going to convince your prospect that you deserve that time?
That’s what an elevator pitch should be: “I deserve your attention and let me show you why.” If your customer is drowning, offer them a life preserver. If they need relief, offer it. If they’re missing a piece of the puzzle, show them how to find it.
Believe me, anything else is going to come off as self-serving or something they’ve already heard.
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