How to Create a Successful Elevator Pitch - 6 Tricks

First published on
December 5, 2018
Last updated on
September 18, 2023



Elevator pitches, also known as elevator speeches are short overviews of a particular business or the services and products that are associated with that business. They are normally used in business settings, especially in face-to-face networking. Elevator tools are considered to be extremely simple but despite the simplicity, they are a very powerful tool for business owners.

The length of an elevator pitch can undoubtedly vary, but typically, it should be presented in under one minute.

The length of the speech should be around 150-250 words. You are going to need an effective elevator pitch when communicating with potential investors, clients, reporters, etc. Elevator speeches are brief summaries that help in keeping a conversation going while keeping them interested in what you have to say.

There can be a planned meeting where you have to deliver an elevator speech. Despite the situation, you have to keep yourself prepared. Given below is a list of the few important steps you need to follow while creating an effective elevator pitch.

Understand your audience

Before you start selling, you must know what you need to sell, and for effective marketing, you have to know what the priority of your audience is. You can never succeed in selling something that is important to you, but not valuable to your audience.

So the first and foremost step to a successful pitch is to understand the person you are talking to, and you should do your homework beforehand. Have a proper idea of what type of audience you may come across. You can come across potential customers, investors, suppliers, people from companies with complementary offerings.

Needless to say, the interests of your audiences will widely vary. When talking to a potential client or customer, you should have a proper idea about the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities of your company.

Understand the need for elevator pitches

Many entrepreneurs misunderstand the need of an elevator pitch. They tend to have too high expectations for them and misjudge what they can achieve with them.

An elevator speech is similar to opening paragraphs of reports or memos. It helps you to create an introduction for bigger topics. No one is going to purchase, make investments or even join hands with you based on the strength of your elevator speech. The pitch helps in finding people who are truly interested, not only in making a sale.

Don’t stick to a single elevator pitch

As already mentioned, your audience will have varying interests. So a single elevator pitch will never be enough. If your pitch is focused on impressing an investor, you might end up losing a potential customer.

The solution here is to prepare multiple pitches with different emphases. Of course, there will be some common elements, but just remember, the tiniest details can make a difference. So be passionate as well as practical while preparing the pitches and make changes depending on your audience.

Investors are not your customers, and they want to invest in a compelling young company that is rapidly acquiring customers. On the other hand, the customer will ask if you are efficient enough to deliver your digital product on time without the slightest compromise in the quality.

So prepare multiple elevator pitches instead of a single multi-functional elevator pitch.

Make it personal

If you are aware of the term “Emotional Marketing”, you might know how connecting to your audience in a personal way can work in your favor. The needs of your audience are not always practical – emotions constitute an important part of their needs.

For investors, making more money is not just a logical decision, it is often an emotional requirement. Same goes for many corporate customers. A particular kind of win emotionally motivates them while choosing a service.

You cannot precisely know these beforehand. But you can always utilize people’s tendency of emotional decision making by improving your communication skills. If you can create a personal connection with your audience, you can easily make an elevator pitch successful.

Don’t pitch everyone

Even if you are using multiple variations of your pitch, there is no need to pitch to everyone within arm’s reach. Trust me, excessive use of elevator pitch can ruin your reputation. Do not turn every conversation into an excuse for self-promotion. Just be honest, choose the place and time carefully, and confidently approach your audience.

Practice and human connection

In many cases, people run through memorized speeches like they are reciting a poem. In a list of “Don’ts” for an effective elevator pitch, this will be the topmost point. Contrary to the regular idea, memorized speeches do not make you articulate, they make you sound like a voice bot.

You will be more focused on remembering your speech and eventually lose human connection. Other than that, there is a good chance that you will get tense and will be in a rush to finish the pitch off, the result will be so artificial that people will lose interest in listening to you in a few seconds.

You don’t need to practice your pitch repeatedly, while writing it, make note of the series of emotions you want to evoke. Deliberately improvise words different from the ones that you wrote, try emphasizing different feelings at different times, do the same remembering different things that the person needs to hear.

Your ultimate goal should be talking to someone, based on a pitch that has a human connection in it. Consult those who are experienced in delivering elevator pitches and take their advice.

Follow up

You can give a pitch and potentially impress someone, but you also need to follow the next step to be successful. Get contact information from your clients and schedule your follow up activity, whether it is sending additional information or getting in touch.

For some people, you might need to follow up multiple times. You must do this periodically with a light touch and a lack of pressure and you will be surprised at how successful your campaign can be over time.

Other standard tips for creating an effective elevator pitch include:

  • Defining who you are in one sentence;
  • Describe what you do by using your mission statement and the list of products, services you offer as a guide. You can write 1-2 sentences about what you do every day in your business; identify your clients and customers and use your target audience description as a guide, and dedicate one or two sentences about who your ideal clients or customers are;
  • You must explain what is unique about you and your business and use your unique selling proposition (USP) as a guide. Don’t forget to mention what sets you apart from every other business owner who is in the same business;
  • Identify what you want your audience to do next; try to create an attention-getting hook, pull in your audience and get them engaged in what you are about to say.

You should follow the above-mentioned points in preparing and delivering your elevator pitch to make it a powerful tool for your business. Try to be different from others, almost all are focused on getting what you want in an efficient manner, but you’ve got to have something unique in your pitch that sets it apart from others.

You need to apply the basics of communication and persuasion because the standard rules and tips can backfire sometimes.

An elevator pitch helps you in marketing your business effectively among clients and you need to be spot on with it. Try to learn gradually and always leave a scope for further improvement, grab the interests of customers through your pitch, attract them to use your services and make them aware about the potential of your business.

It is a matter of few minutes, but it is not that simple to be ignored. It is one of the essential steps of starting a business and attracting investment. These days things have become easier due to the availability of internet, which you can use in many ways for making an effective elevator pitch.

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