What Should an Elevator Pitch Be?


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. 

What Should an Elevator Pitch Be?

When crafting the perfect elevator pitch, use a noble intention as the starting point. Too many elevator pitches are laden with buzzwords, technological details, or perhaps worst of all, an inherent assumption that once I tell you what I’m selling, I can immediately ask for the order.  It’s not surprising that the listener is put off; the approach it’s shortsighted... in fact, ridiculous.

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.  Using that reality as the backdrop, your pitch completely transforms.  Why should this person even listen to you?  What are you offering them that’s unique and valuable?  Few offerings in life can be sold in 15 seconds.  It takes more time.  So, how can you 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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Posted by Mark Jewell