In recent years, a lot has changed about sales; we’ve seen the rise of content marketing and the addition of digital touch points, to name a few. But one thing that will never change in this business is the need for a concise, compelling elevator pitch. It’s the simplest yet most powerful tool in your arsenal for face-to-face networking or prospecting.
Whether you’re selling for a mom-and-pop operation, a major tech company, or just working on answering that daunting interview question, “What would you like to tell us about yourself?” you need an effective elevator pitch to set you apart. Yes, distilling the essence of what you do down to a 30-second sound byte is challenging, but if you put in the effort and craft it strategically, your hard work will pay off in dividends.
To help you get started, we’re going to take a look at the ingredients in a killer elevator pitch for the salesperson. Then reveal how you can make sure it’s unforgettable. So unforgettable, in fact, this tip will actually make your elevator pitch 22 times more memorable than others. Ready to start opening more doors and closing more deals? If so, read on!
How to write a great elevator pitch for the salesperson
Try a freewriting activity for inspiration
Before you sit down to write your “perfect” pitch, try freewriting. On a blank paper, write down whatever you’d like someone to know about you, your product, or your company. What’s important enough to tell them? Don’t censor yourself. Include every detail you think is relevant. And don’t worry about length or whether you’re being succinct for now, this is just a thought starter to get the creative juices flowing.
Refine your pitch
After you’ve gotten all your thoughts on paper, it’s time to re-examine them. If you had to transfer those ideas to a sticky note, what would you cut out? Look over your initial thoughts and see where you can pare it down. Are there redundancies? Did you go off topic anywhere? Once you’ve streamlined it a little, it’s time to give it some formal structure.
Make sure your pitch includes…
As you’re refining your thoughts, make sure your pitch includes the following:
1. An attention-grabber
2. Who you are
3. What you do
4. Your value proposition
5. What happens next
Let’s break down these segments and define what each of them mean.
1. Start with an attention-grabbing intro
This isn’t optional, it’s a must-have element to engage your audience! Begin with a detail that sparks interest or reminds them of a frustration they need a solution for — it will make them hungry for what you’ve got to say next. Start off with a question to engage their curiosity, or offer a really stunning statistic that most prospects may not know. However you choose to captivate your listener’s attention, make sure it’s relevant to the overall pitch; you’ve only got 150 – 200 words to nail it, so don’t waste them.
2. Define who you are
Write a sentence or two about who you are and what your role is at your company. Sales rep? Great. Tell them and move on. Keep it simple and direct.
3. What do you do?
Try to avoid industry jargon in favor of lay terms. Describe the product or service you provide to customers/clients and explain it in a way that relates to them. Instead of saying you offer “strategic insight,” frame it as “suggesting new products or services a company can offer their customers.” Much more conversational, and your prospect will have a solid grasp on how you might be able to help them before your pitch is really getting started.
4. Explain your value proposition
At this point, they know who you are and what you do — now, they’ll learn exactly what you/your company does better than the competition. Write one or two sentences about the value of the service or product you provide. This is a great chance to explain how and why you’re unique. Remember to frame this with a needs-based approach. In other words, don’t just “tell” them about your value prop; instead, connect to their personal and professional life. Explain it in a way that dramatically improves your prospect’s life or their company’s bottom line.
5. What happens next?
Tack on a sentence or two about where you’re headed next, what you’re looking to do with your product or service, and what kind of opportunities you’re on the hunt for. This is the “call to action” portion of your pitch: “I’d love to schedule a time where we can talk about the challenges you mentioned, and explore how we might be able to work together.” Better yet, assume the sale and simply ask when’s a good time to hop on a call, or meet in person, to discuss the opportunity further.
You should now have the basic components of a stellar elevator pitch, but there’s one more thing you can do to really nail it…
BONUS – Make your pitch 22x more memorable by…
…Telling a story! Wrapping the details of your pitch into a story is statistically proven to help people remember it twenty-two times better than a pitch that is just facts, figures, and information. You do want your pitch to be straightforward and concise, so we’re not talking about drafting The Iliad here, but if you can, find a way to illustrate your pitch through the basic storytelling devices of character, conflict, and resolution.
For example: “The founders of our company were frustrated by losing almost an hour a day to a task we all deal with: reporting. Every day, tied to their desks during their most productive morning hours, they’d daydream about what else they could do with that time — which caused them to waste even more time. Reporting made them feel robotic, and put a damper on their creativity, so they developed this automation software. With XYZ, reporting time is cut to minutes, leaving you to focus on more important tasks. I connect customers with the right suites of XYZ to make sure they’re able to make the most of their workweek. If you’re curious, I’m happy to tell you more.”
Our brains process narratives differently than they do basic information. When we’re told facts and figures, we’re reaching back into our memory for experiences that will help us to understand the information. If those same details are told in a story, however, we soak the information up naturally, because we’re so absorbed by the narrative.
Don’t be afraid to write and revise
Try out your elevator pitch and tweak if it isn’t getting the response you want. You can always tighten it the more you learn about your product, your prospects, and if what you want your audience to do after they hear it changes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches, you’ll never know what works until you try it!
And remember, reach out to us at C-Level Partners if you want to win qualified sales meetings practically on demand. We put you in front of the Right People, in the Right Role, Right Now!
Until next time,