Let me paint a scenario for you: Imagine that you step onto an elevator in a hotel lobby, and you suddenly realize that the person standing next to you is the single best prospect for your product or service…
Your absolute dream client is just stuck with you for 30 seconds in the elevator.
What do you say to that person? How do you engage them in a conversation? How do you get them going?
Most salespeople are deeply unclear about what their elevator pitch actually sounds like. Mapping it out and making sure that it’s absolutely rock-solid is critical to your success.
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 quick steps to the best elevator pitch in sales. Check it out:
Elevator Pitch in Sales Step #1: 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.
Elevator Pitch Step #2: 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.
Step #3: 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.
Elevator Pitch Step #4: 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.
Elevator Pitch in Sales Step #5: 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.