I am no science teacher, neither this post is about cognitive psychology. I am simply presenting you with one of the major challenges every sales professional face. “How to engage with a customer with deep rooted aversion to my initial sales pitch”?
Let us try an explore the ultimate sales pitch in action, the best Elevator Pitch you can frame for your sale call. I also recommend reading our complete selling skills guide to build your selling skills.
WHAT IS THIS ELEVATOR PITCH I AM TALKING ABOUT
Elevator pitch has its origin from the idea of having to impress a senior executive during a brief ride in an elevator.
One best known origin story is that of Ilene Rosenzweig and Michael Caruso, two former journalists in the early 90s. Michael who was a senior editor at Vanity Fair, was continuously attempting to pitch story ideas to the Editor-In-Chief at the time, but could never pin her down long enough to do so, simply because she was always on the move.
So, in order to pitch her ideas, Michael would join her during short free periods of time during an elevator ride. This led to the concept of elevator pitch as we know today.
BUT WHAT EXACTLY IS DOES THE ELEVATOR PITCH CONVEY
The best elevator pitch is a short description of an idea, product, company, or oneself that explains the concept in such a way that any listener can understand it in a short period of time. Imagine the time you spend in an elevator move back or forth from your office.
The best Elevator Pitch typically explains who the product/company is for, what it does, why it is needed, and how it will get done. For the latter, when explaining an individual, the description generally explains one’s skills and goals, and why they would be a productive and beneficial person to have on a team or within a company/project.
A best elevator pitch does not include all of these components, but it usually does at least explain what the idea, product, company, or person is and why it/they are valuable within the shortest possible time. Remember we talked about how human brain works!
Your elevator pitch is a way to share your expertise and credentials quickly and effectively with people who don’t know you.
WHEN AND HOW TO USE THIS BEST ELEVATOR PITCH OF YOURS?
You can use Elevator Pitch is almost all major aspects of you personal and professional life. If you are seeking a job you can use your best Elevator Pitch in job fairs, career expos or even interviews.
You can use it online in your LinkedIn summary or Twitter bio, for example. An elevator speech is a great way to gain confidence in introducing yourself to hiring managers and company representatives.
You can also use your elevator pitch to introduce yourself at networking events and confrerences. If you’re attending professional association programs and events, or any other type of gathering, have your pitch ready to share with those you meet.
Your elevator pitch can be used during job interviews, especially when you’re asked about yourself. Interviewers often begin with the question, “Tell me about yourself” think of your elevator pitch as a super-condensed version of your response to that request.
Elevator pitch can be used in sales calls to instantly grab the attention of the customer. It is one of the most useful sales pitch for a new customer.
HOW DO YOU FRAME THIS ELEVATOR PITCH
WORK WITH THE FOLLOWING STRUCTURE TO FRAME YOUR BEST ELEVATOR PITCH
1. SHORT AND SHARP, DEFINE THE DURATION OF THE PITCH
Most importantly your elevator speech should be very brief. A general thumb rule is between 30 to 90 seconds, that’s the time it takes to ride an elevator, remember. Based on your time constraints, decide how long should your elevator last. Do not go beyond 90 seconds as then it is not an elevator pitch.
2. ADD YOUR SKILLS, EXPERTISE OR CREDENTIALS
Share your skills. Your elevator pitch should explain who you are and what qualifications and skills you have. Try to focus on assets that add value in many situations. This is your chance to brag a bit — avoid sounding boastful, but do share what you bring to the table.
BUILD ON YOUR HOOK ARGUMENT
A hook argument is what would interest your target audience or customer. It has to be be persuasive. Even though it’s a short pitch, your elevator speech should be persuasive enough to spark the listener’s interest in your idea, organization, or background. I recommend reading FAB selling statements to build the skill.
3. MUST ALSO HAVE A VALUE PROPOSITION FOR THE TARGET AUDIENCE OR CUSTOMER
Your best Elevator Pitch must contain the most important part. What is the problem that you are solving for the customer. Your value proposition for the customer will feature in this part. For e.g A co-branded travel credit card seller should not highlight that you get extra reward point for booking your flight.
Instead he can calculate how much an average traveler can earn and translate into a value proposition like an “you can earn an international flight for free with your regular travel spends on this credit card”. Remember, never create false expectations. You need to provide evidence, like in this case show a normal calculation how he may end up earning a free international flight every year.
4. WHAT NEXT
The best elevator pitch must have an element of next step built into the speech. It’s like all to action in marketing campaign. It is like saying I have conveyed all the powerful sales pitch and now I want you to do this. Well we all want the prospective customers to buy, however do not directly define what next as, “just buy my product” unless it is a very low value product. Instead you may ask for time for detailed presentation or meeting with key stakeholders.
5. PREPARATION AND PRACTICE
The best way to get comfortable with an elevator speech is to practice it until the speed and “pitch” come naturally, without sounding robotic. You will become comfortable varying the conversation as you practice with it. Try saying your speech to a friend, or record it. This will help you know if you are staying within the time limit and giving a coherent message.
THINGS TO AVOID DURING YOUR BEST ELEVATOR PITCH
- Yes, Elevator Pitch has short duration, that doesn’t mean you will speak fast and finish it. In fact the opposite is true.
- Avoid rambling. This is why it’s so important to practice your elevator speech.
- Do not sound robotic. You need to speak as you would normally do. A powerful elevator pitch is sometimes less effective because the body language and voice modulation sounds too artificial.
- Never speak in a monotone. While you practice it there is downside to it, it can leave you more focused on remembering the exact words you want to use, and less on how you’re carrying yourself. Keep your energy level high, positive, and enthusiastic. Modulate your voice to keep listeners interested, and keep your facial expression friendly.
- Don’t restrict yourself to a single elevator pitch. Maybe you’re interested in pursuing two fields — public relations and content strategy. Many of your communication skills will apply to both those fields, but you’ll want to tailor your pitch depending on who you are speaking to. You may also want to have a more casual, personal pitch prepared for social settings.
Elevator Pitch Examples
Use these examples as guidelines in crafting your own elevator pitch. Make sure your speech includes details on your background, as well as what you’d provide an employer.
- I recently graduated from college with a degree in MBA. I was member of the placement council of my college and had overseen 100% placement for my batch. I’m looking for a job that will put my skills a human resource manager in practice and I am seeking an appointment with your HR head for that reason.
- I have a decade’s worth of experience in accounting, working primarily with small and midsize firms. If your company is ever in need of an extra set of hands, I’d be thrilled to consult.
- My name is Rahul, and after years of working at other dentists’ offices, I’m taking the plunge and opening my own office. If you know anyone who’s looking for a new dentist, I hope you’ll send them my way!
- I create illustrations for websites and brands. My passion is coming up with creative ways to express a message, and drawing illustrations that people share on social media.
- I’m a lawyer with the government, based out of D.C. I grew up in Ohio, though, and I’m looking to relocate closer to my roots, and join a family-friendly firm. I specialize in labor law, and worked for ABC firm before joining the government.
- My name is Sarah, and I run a trucking company. It’s a family-owned business, and we think the personal touch makes a big difference to our customers. Not only do we guarantee on-time delivery, but my father and I personally answer the phones, not an automated system.
Start framing your own elevator pitch and use it as often as you can. Learn from the mistakes and withing no time you will be able to nail your best elevator pitch. Remember the start is one of the most important elements to create an impression. Share your feedback and experience by commenting below.
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