Sales Pitch in an Elevator

I heard the craziest thing on an elevator the other day and I thought of you Here’s the story: I stepped onto an elevator at the airport and three people followed behind me — a young woman and two young men The door closed and the woman turned to her friends and asked, “Do you know where my parents are right now?” The guys shook their heads “They’re at a burial service for my grandfather’s friend who died at Pearl Harbor

They just found the body, and they’re going to pay their respects to good ol’ Uncle Mike” One floor later, the doors opened and the trio stepped off, leaving me alone in the elevator…………… I admit, I almost jumped out after them but the heavy steel doors slammed shut; mocking both my curiosity and hesitation Now you’ve probably heard the debate — For decades, sales and marketing experts have been trying to solve the “elevator pitch” conundrum: how to deliver enough information and create enough intrigue that if all you had was a one-floor elevator journey with a prospect, they would want to learn more Certainly, these travelers weren’t trying to sell anything–but that’s exactly the point

Their elevator pitch wasn’t a pitch at all–it was a story Which made me think – that’s probably what ALL pitches should be… If you’ve ever struggled with the dreaded elevator pitch, here are three simple steps to help FIRST, – the story needs a sense of wonder, intrigue, or mystery…World War II, Pearl Harbor, and finding the remains of a forgotten soldier decades later is heavy on intrigue…

Your pitch can tap into this same element of disbelief and intrigue Did you stumble upon a solution you couldn’t believe actually existed and built a company? Tell that story Did you or someone you know encounter a problem you couldn’t believe didn’t have a solution? Tell that story And if, after 30 seconds, it’s time to exit the elevator, at least you’ll leave the listener with a mystery they’ll want to investigate And when they do, they’ll find you

SECOND Leave out the information (yes, almost all of it) It’ll be difficult to resist mentioning the features of your product or the year-over-year revenue growth, but resist you must All of those facts and bits of information are utterly forgettable If you only have a few moments with someone, use it on a story they’ll remember

LAST, Disconnect from the outcome–let the story do its job… What if Jesus told the story of not hiding your light under a bushel and then asked listeners for a bulk order of candles Or if Martin Luther King Jr told the world about the dream he had and then asked people to please leave their business cards in a bowl at the back of the Mall Spend time developing a story compelling enough you don’t even NEED a call to action I arrived home from the airport that evening and told my husband the story of the best elevator pitch ever (and admitted to almost losing a limb in the elevator shaft trying to chase them down to hear the rest)