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Sales Strategy
Feb 6, 2018 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

Have you ever been caught speechless when someone asks “so, what does your company do”? If you start to break a sweat and fumble over describing features and users, you need to work on your elevator pitch.

The elevator pitch is one of the classic sales tools; however, that doesn’t mean that everyone in sales does it well. Some are able to say it smoothly, but leave their audience wondering what exactly they are talking about. Some others may also fail to explain why anyone should care about this product or company. There are many sins to avoid in any pitch, and these become even more important when you have a short period of time to explain your business. So, how does a one create a great elevator pitch?

It Starts with Strong Positioning

Who are you trying to sell to, and what are their pain points? You need to explain your product and organization in that context in order to position it correctly. Perhaps you sell equipment that slices meat really quickly. You could start by saying, “butchers and deli workers often get overwhelmed by long lines, which results in unhappy customers”. This immediately tells your audience why they should care about this product. If you are unsure about who uses your product and what problem it is solving, you need to work with your team to create stronger positioning before you can script a great elevator pitch.

You Can Be “Salesy”

It’s called an elevator pitch after all. Once you’ve articulated the who and why by outlining your customer and pain point, move on to the what. Using our meat slicer example, you may say “our company sells the fastest deli-meat slicers on the market. We’re the leading supplier of deli-meat slicers to delis and butcher shops across Canada”. These claims articulate what you do, and how well you do it. Your audience needs to know that you are selling great products, so tell them.

Finish with a Question

You don’t want your elevator pitch to end on a flat note, where your audience is simply left to think “that’s cool”. Asking the person you are talking to a question is a great way to finish on a high note and keep the conversation going. For instance, you could ask “wouldn’t you want to serve customers faster if you could?”. This allows the person you are speaking with to respond, and it enables you to continue talking about the various different benefits and features that you offer.

Keep it Short

The elevator pitch’s purpose is to give an overview of your organization and product, not to list out every single thing that you offer. Test your pace and length by recording yourself. If you can’t get your pitch across in about a minute, it is too long and you need to edit out some of the unnecessary detail. Remember that you can always provide more context and detail later in the conversation or in another meeting, but you will not have the opportunity to give the first pitch again.

Your elevator pitch needs to be relevant and memorable. Follow these tips to script an elevator pitch that will entice your audience to hear more.

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