How To Craft An Effective Elevator Sales Pitch

You’ve heard of the elevator sales pitch – the universally stress-inducing scenario where you get in the elevator on the ground floor, someone asks what you do, and you only have 60 seconds to make a good impression before one of you gets out of the elevator. No one talks in elevators, but I’m sure you get the point. Sure, it’s great to have a short and punchy “phrase that pays” in this scenario, but there’s a lot more to an effective sales pitch than buzzwords. Read on to discover what makes a good sales pitch, and steal our powerful 60-second elevator sales pitch framework! 

Also read:

What is an Elevator Sales Pitch?

A sales pitch, also known as an elevator pitch, is a compressed type of sales presentation where a salesperson has to explain the nature, the benefits and the solution their business offers all in under 60 seconds or less – hence the name.

No one, especially prospects, has time for hour-long sales presentations that lose their attention halfway through. That’s why if you can concisely and accurately articulate what it is you do, why it’s important and why the prospect should care – you’ll have much more time to talk specifics in the rest of the sales process.

How does an elevator pitch differ from a sales pitch?

While most people think elevator pitches are identical to a sales pitch, they’re not. A sales pitch is often a formal type of sales presentation, usually used in long buying cycles. It can take multiple times until a deal has closed. An elevator pitch often occurs organically in casual conversation and tells potential prospects what you do, with a statement that positions you as the ideal solution provider in the hopes of leading to a sale.

Sales Pitches Vs. Sales Presentations: What’s the difference?

An elevator sales pitch is a versatile tool to apply in many areas of sales activities. It can be adapted for a one-minute mini-speech ideal for networking opportunities, a script to follow on prospecting calls, or even just a classic presentation for key decision-makers.

For example, every time you call up a sales lead to discuss a product or meet a key decision-maker at a networking event who hears your one-minute mini-speech about what you do – that’s a sales pitch. They’re consistently used throughout the sales process and should be optimised for every occasion.

Sales presentations, however, are a more advanced version of a sales pitch and are usually used for bigger deals that require multiple stakeholders to weigh in on decision making. Salespeople are more likely to present sales presentations as a team rather than as individuals. As such, they need to work as a team to ensure they’re prepared.

When to use an Elevator Sales Pitch?

The truth is, most people don’t talk in elevators, but it doesn’t make elevator sales pitches only helpful in pitching products and services to prospects. Elevator sales pitches are very versatile and can be used or back-pocketed for reasons such as selling a new idea to your CEO, explaining a change initiative you’re leading or simply just concisely explaining what you do for a job!

What elements make a good elevator sales pitch?

how to craft an effective elevator pitch

One of the biggest myths is that salespeople should be natural-born sellers; everything “falls into place” for them – this is not true. Instead, to be successful in sales, they need to possess a repeatable and scalable formula; that’s where processes like our 60-second elevator Sales Pitch framework come in. A good elevator sales pitch is concise and clear, specifically names whom you help, all while telling a compelling story of how you’ve helped someone like them in the past. The overall structure should look something like this:

1. A problem

Sales always start with a problem. While it may seem like a waste of precious time, your elevator sales pitch shouldn’t start with the product. Instead, it should begin by addressing your prospects most significant pain points – something that deeply resonates with them.

2. Agitation of the problem

Highlight the effects that these pain points cause by framing the consequences of not taking action to solve them. This is where having third-party statistics and data can help make or break your elevator sales pitch. It helps to present a data-driven argument behind the pain-point your solution relieves.

3. A differentiator (Your solution to the problem)

It can be tempting to launch into a total product pitch once the prospects most significant pain points have been highlighted. However, at this stage of an elevator sales pitch, you need to explain the solution in terms the prospect understands, or in other words, a vision of change. Therefore, this stage highlights how the prospects life will look like once they invest in a solution, rather than describing the features of your product or service.

Bonus tip: Identify 3 reasons your ideal customers should choose you

To achieve the level of engagement you want, start by identifying the top-3 reasons your ideal customers should choose you. Take out a pen and paper and make a list of your natural gifts, life experience, training, and accomplishments. Anything that can help you position yourself as an expert in your field. You can also learn what makes a good sales pitch and why customers should choose you right here in this video:

4. Benefits (The value you bring)

Now is the time to talk about the benefits. At this stage of the elevator sales pitch, you want to pivot your focus to highlight how your product is better than the old way of doing things – or even how your competitor does things.

5. An ask

The overall idea is to leave the listener eager to learn more. The thing is, a good sales pitch also needs to be structured to present what you do in the best light possible – why should your ideal customers choose you?

How to write a 60 second elevator sales pitch

It’s important to tell your story in a structured way that entices your listener to know more and in a way that suits their engagement preferences best. That’s why below, you can use the following sales pitch framework as a video sales pitch or in-person sales pitch to inspire, influence, and engage your listeners wherever you are.

The Introduction (How to start a pitch)

The first 30 seconds are crucial if we consider that audience attention spans are short. Craft your first 15-20 seconds to be a concise “elevator sales pitch” where you waste no time in stating:

  • The problem you solve: Always begin your sales pitch with an attention-grabbing statement or question about the problem you solve. An exciting way to present the problem is either by using a personal anecdote, question, or eye-opening statistic – regardless of the method you choose, remember to answer the “why.”
  • Who you are, what you do, and how you’re going to help: When you explain what you do, remember to highlight the unique differentiators you possess for your industry.
  • Your product or service: What’s in it for them? Don’t list off features – talk benefits and use bridge statements.
  • Your authority on the subject: Are you an industry thought-leader? Provide your listeners with mentions of industry achievements and awards by giving clear examples.

The Core (Crafting the main body)

Now that you’ve successfully hooked their attention, it’s time to explain why you’re the best choice in the sea of competitors. The main body of your sales pitch is your time to start reeling in the viewer – so from around the 30-second mark onwards focus on:

  • Explaining the BENEFITS of your features; how are you going to make their lives better?
  • One central message to the viewer, what do you want them to do, feel, and think? 
  • Provide context in the format of visuals, statistics, or any other material that will help the customer completely understand your message. 

The Next Steps (Call-To-Action)

How can they begin to solve the problem now? By ending with a solid call-to-action, you’re offering your listener an offer they can’t refuse. Your aim is to persuade them to visit you, so maybe offer an exclusive deal just for them.

Final Touches (Read and revise the pitch)

If practice makes perfect, ensure you practice your elevator pitch before trying it out for real in the field! Ask colleagues to help you by practising on them so you can receive feedback.

Elevator Sales Pitch example

Here’s an example of a pitch: Our company helps business owners like you, build high-performance sales teams. In fact, one of our recent client’s closing percentages increased from 20% to 50% within months of our training, based on the methodology from my sales book ‘The SOHO Solution’.

6 effective Sales Pitch tips

You want your sales pitch to be the best it can be, naturally, but how? Here are some of our best sales pitch tips!

1. Do your research

Who are you pitching to? Learn about the person or prospect in front of you before you meet – learn about their company role, what matters to them and their biggest challenges.

2. Paint a vision of their future

Believe it or not, study after study shows that people are more receptive to stories than almost any other type of communication. Our brains are designed not only to crave stories but to remember them and pass on meaningful ones to others. That’s why incorporating storytelling into your sales pitch is so effective. Not sure where to get started? Check out Storytelling As A Sales Strategy for a starting point. 

3. Sell the benefits

Your sales pitch needs to be concise, but your value proposition must be central to the message you’re relaying. Overall, when we pull back for a comprehensive overview of compelling value propositions, we become aware that the most successful ones always answer four main questions for the potential customer:

  • What problem will your company’s product or service solve?
  • Who might benefit from your solution?
  • What are the real benefits the solution offers?
  • Why is your company’s solution better than the ones your competitors are offering?

It’s best to aim for being as clear and concise as possible. Your message has to be delivered in the simplest language which is capable of doing the job. Now is definitely not the time to experiment with your inner Milton. Yes, style is important, but the substance is what truly turns prospects into customers. Trying to be too clever can actually backfire by obscuring the benefits of what you are offering and muddling your message. Your goal should be to allow your potential customer to learn what you are selling, who you are selling to, and what benefits your product can offer them in as little as five seconds.

4. Be confident

Have confidence in your product or service and demonstrate it by sharing your solution with certainty.

5. Prepare for common objections

Start by listing the common objections people have given you in the past and then write a short rationale for each objection. Frame your response to each objection in a positive way and practice it. Think of examples of clients that had the same objection, found a way to overcome it and consequently benefited from using your products and services.

6. Use visuals

Prospects are more likely to agree to the deal if they’ve seen other people benefit from your solution. This is why using visuals or proof devices are your chance to prove the value of your solution while overcoming any objections prospects may have.

Sales pitch tips infographic

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Like blood to a body, a full sales pipeline is necessary for your business to survive. The thing is, prospecting has evolved, and old methods just aren’t useful anymore. 

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