Selling is all about communicating value. And if you can’t communicate your product’s value, your potential buyers sure as hell aren’t going to be itching to work with you.
Mastering an elevator pitch is one of the most effective ways to quickly and effectively pique your prospect’s interest and set the foundation for a successful sale. And crafting your elevator pitch is exactly what we’re talking about today.
More than most professions, sales reps know that time is precious. And everyone—whether it’s a secretary, executive, career buyer, or even coffee deliverer—everyone takes how they spend their time seriously.
If you’ve ever cold-called, you know what I’m talking about. Have you ever been through a morning of cold calling where you haven’t been hung up on? Someone who doesn’t see the value of your pitch won’t even waste their time letting you finish.
Now for sales, that presents a bit of a conundrum. How the heck do you communicate your product or service’s value with such a small sliver of your prospect’s time?
That’s where the elevator pitch comes in. The elevator pitch is meant to quickly and effectively tell your prospects what it is you do and how you solve their problems. But a well-crafted elevator pitch isn’t just helpful when you’re stuck in a room with someone for 20 or 30 seconds. It can also boost your cold-calling success rates, refine your messaging for follow-up emails and meetings, or even inform your final pitch strategy when it comes time to close.
So, what does a great elevator pitch look like? Well, let’s jump in and see.
1: The Clean Open
Now, the very first step of an elevator pitch is to map out your opening.
This step is all about being clear and straight to the point. So be sure to cut the crap, nix the industry jargon, and toss aside any and all buzzwords here.
Essentially, you want to create a single sentence that tells your prospect what you do, who you can help, and how you can help.
To accomplish that, all you have to do is follow a simple yet incredibly effective formula…
“I Help X Do Y By Z.”
For me and the Selling Made Simple Academy, mine would look something like –
“I help sales professionals find and win more outbound sales using simple selling frameworks and one-on-one mentorship. We’re trusted by 2,000+ students.”
And anyone can use this formula. “I help small businesses stay compliant and reduce their liability by providing accredited and experienced tax consultation.” “I help dog owners’ pets look their best by offering boutique grooming services.”
See how easy that is?
When you start with a clear, value-driven statement using this formula, you’re setting the stage for prospects to better understand and internalize the next step…
2: The Story
Stories aren’t just for passing the time during your off-hours or putting the little ones to sleep. They’re actually powerful selling tools.
See, humans are hard-wired for stories. The earliest evidence that we’re storytellers goes back tens of thousands of years. And studies have shown that messages wrapped in a well-constructed story are more likely to be understood, recalled, and internalized.
That’s why the next step in your pitch is to tell your prospect a story about a past customer you helped. Nothing too long-winded, of course. Just enough to get your prospect thinking about how you can accomplish the same results for them too.
Now, a few guiding principles here.
A) Cater the Story to Your Prospect
Cater the story to your prospect. The more relevant the story is, ideally in the same industry, the more it’s going to resonate with your prospect.
B) Explain Their Reality
Explain the reality that the hero of your story currently lives in. Tie it into the world of the person who is receiving your elevator pitch.
C) Identify & Agitate the Pain
Identify and agitate the pain. In the story, describe a problem a past client had that’s similar to your prospect. Inefficient team? Unmet sales goals? Whatever it is, it should cause your prospect’s ears to perk up. “Hey, that’s what I’m dealing with.”
Research here is helpful. But if you haven’t had the time and this is a fresh contact, you can touch on problems that are common throughout the industry too.
After that, dig into the pain points of the problem. Is it bruising their reputation? Are they missing out on promotions because of it? This “twisting of the knife” so to speak really helps the prospect connect with the subject in the story and makes the effect more powerful.
D) Point Out Success Barriers
Point out success barriers. What stopped the customer from taking action once they decided to solve the problem? Was it an overwhelming number of possible solutions? Cost of change? The risk of the solution not working out?
Touch on these barriers too. And if possible, focus specifically on ones you know the prospect has dealt with in the past.
E) Illuminate the End Result & Connect the Gap
Illuminating the end result and connecting the gap. How did the story’s subject feel after solving the problem? Were they able to achieve or even outperform their goals? Did they finally get that raise? Did they earn the respect from the C-suite?
What we’re doing here is getting the prospect enthusiastic about the future. They too could feel those things, achieve those results, and earn that respect.
And you are the one that helped them get there.
If you’ve done a good job at getting the prospect to relate to the story, they’ll feel compelled to reap those same benefits for themselves.
And once you’ve done that thanks to a compelling story, all that’s left is…
3: The Call-To-Action (CTA)
After you’ve given prospects a clean summary of what you do and told a quick story to really drive your value home, it’s time to inspire action.
What do you want your prospect to do now that they’re aware of you? Should they head over to your website? Buy your product outright? Or just give you a call when they’re interested in the benefits your services have to offer?
Be sure you’re closing your pitch with a clear and direct call to action. And if the situation calls for it, punctuate the CTA with an ask—
“Does it make sense to jump on a quick call tomorrow morning?”
If you’ve done everything right so far and the buyer’s a fit, a final ask is the best way to push them over the edge from prospect to a full-blown qualified lead.
When you create and practice an elevator pitch built on this model, you’ll not only never be at a loss for words when someone asks, “What do you do?” on the way to the fourth floor. But you can also use it in nearly all cold-outreach methods, follow-up communications, and even final pitch strategies.
All it takes is…
- Crafting a Clean Open – Crafting a clean and direct opening using the “I help X do Y by Z” formula…
- Delivering a Relevant Story – Delivering a relevant story that resonates with prospects and clearly demonstrates your value…
- Giving Prospects a CTA – And giving your prospects a tangible call-to-action like getting in touch, setting up a demo, or even outright buying your product.
Simple. Effective. And versatile. This is the elevator pitch to rule all elevator pitches. And with it, you’ll be well on your way to upping your sales game faster than ever.