Allow me to paint a picture for you: Imagine that you’re on the elevator in a high-rise building, and as you get on, you notice that your ideal prospect walks onto the elevator and stands right next to you.
You’ve got 25 seconds with that prospect as you travel up to the top of the building—just the two of you. What do you say? How do you engage them in conversation?
Most salespeople and business owners are all over the place when it comes to their “elevator pitch.” But if you can nail your elevator pitch, it can change everything for you in sales.
In this video, I’m going to show you the perfect elevator pitch to close more sales. Check it out:
1. Don’t educate.
“Educating” is such a buzzword nowadays in sales. It’s all about educating prospects…or so they say. In reality, though, prospects don’t need you to educate them. They simply need you to engage them in conversation. They need enough information to start talking. So don’t focus on educating prospects. Don’t just give them as much information as you can. Instead, simply demonstrate insight in a structured way. Educating your prospects about everything you do is overkill. Simply demonstrating insight is the first step to crafting the perfect elevator pitch.
2. Use your bird’s eye view.
Now, companies like McKinsey Consulting, Bain Consulting, and Boston Consulting Group, are paid thousands of dollars an hour by their clients precisely because they offer a bird’s eye view of the industry. You, as a salesperson or business owner, have a similar perspective due to your experience with numerous prospects in the same space. This bird’s eye view provides you with a unique capability to offer powerful insights, enhancing the effectiveness of your perfect elevator pitch.
3. They don’t care about you.
When delivering your perfect elevator pitch, avoid starting with everything about yourself, how long you’ve been in business, and who your clients are. Your prospects don’t care about any of that; they just want to know how you can help them. Focusing on the prospects’ needs rather than your accomplishments is a key part of crafting the perfect elevator pitch.
4. Script it out.
Having a fully scripted elevator pitch ensures your message is tight and impactful. Often, when asked for their elevator pitch, many salespeople meander, losing coherence and focus. A perfect elevator pitch is well-scripted, keeping you on point and succinct.
5. Know what you solve for your prospects.
This understanding forms the core of your elevator pitch, or what I like to refer to as your Opening Play. Identify exactly what problems you solve for your prospects and how you help them. This approach translates what you do into something relatable and valuable for them, an essential part of your perfect elevator pitch.
6. Share three challenges you solve.
Once you’ve established what problems you solve for your prospects, the next step in your perfect elevator pitch is to articulate those common challenges. This demonstrates your understanding of your prospects’ world and provides a foundation for engaging conversation.
7. Engage them back in.
Conclude your perfect elevator pitch with a question that invites prospects back into the conversation. This is not just about earning permission to keep talking; it’s about sparking their interest to engage further. For instance, at the Sales Insights Lab, this is our Opening PLay:
“The Sales Insights Lab is a training and research firm that leverages a data-driven approach to help clients dominate their markets. Right now we are seeing a lot of salespeople and business owners:
⇨struggling to consistently sell on value;
⇨sick and tired of looking at empty pipelines with few strong appointments;
⇨or finally, they are frustrated by being seen as “just another” vendor in the eyes of prospects.
Do any of those issues ring true to you?”
This perfect elevator pitch showcases the challenges we solve and then pulls prospects back into the dialogue.
So there you have it. Now you know how to leverage the perfect elevator pitch to close more sales. You can use this model for your own Opening Play. Which of these ideas did you find most useful for crafting your own elevator pitch? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below to join the conversation.
More Steps to the Best Elevator Pitch in Sales
Building on that previous scenario where you suddenly realize that the person standing next to you in the elevator is the single best prospect for your product or service…
You need to be prepared, because your elevator pitch isn’t for some imaginary scenario in an elevator, but rather for every time you pick up the phone, every time you’re at a prospect’s office, every time you’re at a trade show…whenever, wherever.
In this video, I’m going to show you 5 more quick steps to the best elevator pitch in sales. Check it out:
8. Break the pattern.
Prospects have a consistent patterned response to most salespeople, because most salespeople behave in a very predictable way.
For example, most salespeople open up sales conversations with some form of a high-pressure, cheesy sales pitch that focuses on their company or all the products and services they offer. Maybe they talk about price discounts, too.
Unsurprisingly, prospects have a patterned response to deal with these typical sales conversation-starters and, ultimately, to end those interactions quickly.
As a result, your elevator pitch—or, as I like to call it, your Opening Play—should involve breaking the pattern.
Your Opening Play should essentially wake the prospect up from whatever else it is they’re doing or thinking about, and get them focused on what you’re saying at the moment. This requires being different and breaking the usual sales pattern that prospects are used to.
One great way to do this is to subtly tweak your opening line.
Most salespeople start sales conversations by saying, “How are you today?” Instead, break that pattern. Use something different. Maybe say, “Did I catch you at a bad time?” or “How have you been?” Minor changes like that can have an outsize influence on the flow of the conversation because they signal to the prospect that you’re different from the typical salesperson.
Simply put, breaking the pattern is critical to crafting the best elevator pitch in sales.
9. It’s not about you, it’s about them.
Most salespeople immediately start talking about their own company, what they do, how long they’ve been in business, and all of their awesome clients. The problem is that your prospect doesn’t care about any of that stuff. Instead, you should focus on your prospect from your opening sentence.
Of course, you want to quickly introduce yourself and briefly describe your company. But after that, rather than focus on what you do, focus on how you help clients similar to your prospect achieve certain outcomes that are relevant to the prospect. Make it about them. Don’t make it about yourself. This is key to delivering an effective elevator pitch in sales.
10. Start with how you help clients.
I already mentioned this briefly above, but this is so important that it deserves its own step. Your first sentence of your Opening Play should include information about how you help your clients. By way of example, here’s the first sentence of my own Opening Play for my company, Sales Insights Lab:
“Sales Insights Lab is a sales research and training firm that helps salespeople dramatically increase sales.”
That’s it. Really simple and totally focused on how we help our clients. How do you help your clients? Answer this question and you’re on your way to crafting a compelling elevator pitch in sales.
11. Demonstrate you understand their challenges.
Your elevator pitch must demonstrate, in a very short period of time, that you understand the common challenges your prospect is facing. This is where things take a hard left turn for many salespeople, because they’re incorrectly choosing to focus on themselves and their own offerings at the start of every sales conversation. Instead, you must focus completely on the challenges that your prospects are likely to be facing.
This might sound something like, “Right now, we’re seeing that a lot of clients in your industry are facing the following challenges…” and then list three common challenges.
12. Engage them.
Here’s another area where most salespeople end up going way off track with their elevator pitch. Most salespeople start the conversation by giving a big speech about themselves and what they do, and then they’re basically silent. They never ask the prospect a question to answer, so their monologue just sort of hangs in the air and doesn’t truly engage them.
Instead, your elevator pitch should include a question that engages your prospect share their thoughts with you. Picking up where we left off in the previous step, you might say: “Right now, we’re seeing that a lot of clients in your industry are facing the following challenges…do any of those issues ring true for you?” This question pulls the prospect into the conversation.
So, there you have it. Now you know how to craft the best elevator pitch in sales. The next time you’re in front of your ideal prospect, you know exactly what to say. I want to hear from you. Which of these ideas did you find most useful? Be sure to share below in the comment section to get involved in the conversation.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.