The Difference Between a Sales Pitch and an Elevator Pitch and Why it Matters.Ramon Ray
The elevator pitch as we know it today comes from Hollywood. An aspiring screenwriter would corner an unsuspecting executive in an elevator and pitch his/her concept during the time it took to go one floor. If the executive liked the pitch they would stay on until their floor. If they didn’t, they got out at the first opportunity. The screenwriter had between 30-60 seconds to get their idea across and (hopefully) schedule a meeting.
Resource – 5 Tips To Pitch Your Business at Live Events
The elevator pitch became the hook to a story that would someday find its way to the big screen.
We all know the value of an elevator pitch, but too often our 30-second pitch is just a windup into a long monologue about what we do, how we do it and how beneficial our product/service is to our clients—all without taking a breath. We’ve all been at the receiving end of this type of “pitch” as we nervously scan the room for an escape route before we get swallowed up by a pitch vortex. Much like an over-eager first date, we learn way too much about a company before we’ve even considered if this is something or someone we’re interested in connecting with.
A true elevator pitch doesn’t tell me about your great team, how much you love your customers and the intimate details of your development process. That’s not an elevator pitch. That’s a sales pitch.
An elevator pitch doesn’t try to sell me. It helps me understand why you’re the company I want to work with. Imagine you’re talking to someone who could be your ideal client. They just don’t know it yet. What would you want them to know? Where to begin?
Here are the three key parts to an elevator pitch:
- Make Me Curious. Present me with a real problem that your customers struggle with. A compelling statistic and a question that piques my interest and is a great lead-in to your solution. I typically start my elevator pitch by sharing the statistic that the average person is exposed to 12,000 messages/day. That’s roughly 4 million/year. How does a startup break through all that noise?
- Share Your Why. Don’t talk about your founder’s journey or how passionate you are about your customers. Tell me what you’ve done to solve this very real and urgent problem. As a brand architect, I build the DNA of startup brands and develop messaging that cuts through the noise—so a startup can scale in weeks instead of months.
- End with Results. You’ve shared a solution to a real problem. Don’t forget to tell me what happens when people work with you. On average, the founders I’ve worked with double their revenue in 3 months.
Resource – 3 Best Practices for Pitching Your Business
Now. Stop. Talking. Wait for the listener to say: Tell me more.
Instead of trying to sell me, break down your brand story into bite-sized nuggets of information or vignettes that give your listeners a fresh take on an old problem that you solved in a new way that any business person can relate to. These types of stories also demonstrate empathy and compassion for your clients and make you and your company relatable.
An authentic story engages us and makes us receptive to learn more about you and your company.
And isn’t that the pitch we really want to hear?
Orly Zeewy, Brand Architect, builds the DNA of startup brands and helps founders close the marketing gaps that get in the way of scaling their business—in months, not years. Prior to starting her consulting practice, Orly ran the award-winning Zeewy Design and Marketing Communications firm for 14 years and has lectured at Wharton and taught in The Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University, the Fox School of Business & Management at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania. Her book: Ready, Launch, Brand: The Lean Marketing Guide for Startups was the #1 new business book release in April 2021.