1. WOW. Say something intriguing (even puzzling) that will make the other person want to hear more. A creative summary of what you do that demands some clarification. Ideally, the prospect’s reaction will be to cock their head and ask “what does that mean?”
2. HOW. Answer the stated (or unspoken) question and explain exactly what you do.
3. NOW. Shift into storytelling mode, giving a concrete example of a current customer. The key phrase is “Now, for example…”
Fortunately, I’ve found 3 elevator pitches that actually work. They are different than the boring 60 second “talking brochure” because they are:
1. CONVERSATIONS. The goal is not to deliver your 60 second advertisement; it’s to have a two-way conversation. A successful pitch is where the other person relaxes and says “Interesting. Tell me more.”
2. EVERYDAY LANGUAGE.
3. Start with a story/humor/news/etc. Don’t launch into your company spiel. Instead, start with something you expect to hear in a conversation: humor, a story, referring to recent news. Choose something that highlights a problem you help customers solve.
4. Add an emotional benefit statement. Say “That’s what I do.” Then summarize the RESULTS you achieve for customers. It should be an emotional benefit, not a hard-headed business benefit.
5. Quantify your success. Now you add the proof of your benefit statement, using numbers if possible.
6. Use the “velvet rope close”. The velvet rope close suggests your offer is only accessible to certain types. For example, if you’re an investment advisor you might say “I normally only talk about investing in gold with my high net worth clients. But I think it might be right in your case.” Rather than closing like a hungry dog, inappropriate for a social meeting, let the prospect come to you. In your elevator pitch, the key phrase to use is “I’m not sure if I can help you, but…”
In fact, here’s a tip: write out your pitch, then take a red pen and cross out all the cliches and marketing-speak. Replace them with one-syllable words.
Elevator pitch example 1 Do you remember about 10 years ago when the space shuttle Columbia was destroyed on re-entry? It turns out the engineers tried to warn NASA about the danger. But the PowerPoint slides they used were a complete mess and no-one understood the danger.
That’s what I do. I train people how to make sure their PowerPoint slides aren’t a complete disaster.
For instance, students who attend my workshop can create slides that are 50% more clear and 50% more convincing by the end of the training, based on scores students give each other before and after the workshop.
I’m not sure if my training could work at your company. It really depends how much you use PowerPoint and what’s at stake if your PowerPoint is unclear. But I’d be happy to talk to you about it.
Elevator pitch example 2 Sample elevator pitch: If you are looking for the best accounting firm in the city, look no further. My accounting firm has a solid track record of balancing books in about half the time of our competitors. If you examine our records, you will notice that we are virtually error-free. Furthermore, I have hired the best and the brightest to represent my firm and we have introduced ideas to our clients that have saved them thousands of dollars. We have outstanding references, all of whom would testify that our firm has worked incredible wonders for their company. In six years, we have not lost a single client. I am sure that we can raise the bar for your company.
Elevator pitch example 3 Sample elevator pitch: selling yourself as an inexperienced Candidate I am new to professional writing but I have been published in 6 medium-circulation publications over the last year. Prior to that, I graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a 3.8 GPA. I hold a Bachelor's in English and a Master's degree in Journalism. While I was there, I wrote for two of the college papers and an award-winning magazine known as "Modern Times." My portfolio speaks for itself. If you would take a few minutes to look it over, I guarantee you will be impressed. If you are sceptical, I am willing to send you a small series of sample pieces so you know that I have what it takes.
Elevator pitch example 4 Sample elevator pitch: selling an Idea to an investor I am a successful inventor who has patented and marketed some very influential devices. Surely you are aware of the solar-powered stoplights in Portland. I patented them, built the prototype and found an investor. Now my invention can be seen all over the Rose City. That is my most notable invention but I can furnish you a portfolio of my other exciting work. Most recently, I have been in development with a friend in the candy business and we have created prototypes for see-through ice cream cones. They are fully edible, come in a variety of colours and we are certain they will be a big hit with children. If you have some time in the near future I can show you some samples and I promise you will be amazed. Anyone who invests in these will surely see high returns.