Want to immediately grab the attention of the potential customer?
Then you need an effective elevator pitch.
Here’s what we are going to discuss today:
- What is an elevator pitch?
- How to structure your elevator pitch?
- How to take your elevator pitch to the next level?
Want to create an elevator pitch that works like crazy?
What Is an Elevator Pitch?
An elevator pitch is a <30 seconds pitch that you would give to a potential customer who has never heard about your business before.
Why is it called an elevator pitch?
The reason why it’s called an elevator pitch is that the classic scenario used to explain this type of pitch is meeting a potential client in an elevator.
You have less than 30 seconds to:
- Introduce yourself
- Explain what you do.
- Give them your business card.
And then the elevator door opens and they leave.
But now they have your business card. Will they call you?
That depends on how good your elevator pitch was.
Are Elevator Pitches Still Relevant?
You might think this is some weird outdated stuff. Who’s pitching potential clients in elevators nowadays anyway?
However, as an entrepreneur, you will likely constantly find yourself in situations where you will have to quickly explain what your business is all about to complete strangers.
You need to have a solid elevator pitch for:
- Cold emails
- Social media.
- Networking events.
And keep in mind that trying to grab someone’s attention online is not the same thing as chatting to them in an elevator.
In an elevator, the person is stuck with you until they reach their floor, so they will likely hear you out of politeness.
Online, that same person is distracted by 11 open tabs in their browser, instant messaging notifications on their phone, and the temptation to watch yet another cat video on YouTube.
So you really need to bring your A-game if you want to get their attention.
What is the Purpose of an Elevator Pitch?
Let’s keep real:
You are not going to close the sale on a 30 seconds elevator ride. So what’s the purpose of the elevator pitch?
The purpose is to get the potential customer to take the next step in your sales funnel.
In the elevator scenario, you give them your business card, then hope that they will contact you. That’s the next step.
In other scenarios, it could be getting them to:
- Check out your website.
- Download your lead magnet.
- Reply to your email.
So figure out what is the next step you want them to take. That should be the goal of your elevator pitch.
How to Structure Your Elevator Pitch
So how can you structure your elevator pitch to maximize its effectiveness?
#1 Introduce Yourself
You only need to introduce yourself if the person can’t see your name.
If you have met a potential client in a networking event, it makes sense to start by saying “Hello, my name is…” before giving them your elevator pitch.
However, if we are talking about an online elevator pitch, then the potential client probably already knows your name because it’s displayed on the screen.
So if you are sending someone a cold email, then starting with “Hello, my name is…” isn’t necessarily the best way to go about it because you are wasting their attention on repeating something that they already know.
In that case, it’s better to spend 1-2 sentences connecting with them (mention that you’ve been following their work, read their book, listened to their podcast interview, etc.), then give them your elevator pitch.
Meanwhile, social media profiles also display your name, so you should go straight into the elevator pitch in your bio without the “Hello, my name is…” preamble.
#2 Summarize What You Do
Your elevator pitch is about summarizing what you do in a way that conveys the value that you offer to potential customers.
There’s an old copywriter joke that goes like this:
“What is everyone’s favorite radio station?”
WII FM stands for What’s In It For Me.
The point is that people don’t care about you, they care about what you can do for them… So that’s what you should focus on!
Think about what the potential customer wants when they buy similar products or services. What are they trying to achieve?
You should convey how you will help them achieve that in a language that they understand.
What does that mean?
- Selling to SaaS startup founders? Talk about annual recurring revenue (ARR), monthly recurring revenue (MRR), churn, etc.
- Selling to eCommerce entrepreneurs? Talk about revenue, sales, and profits.
- Selling to authors? Talk about book sales, royalties, and bestseller lists.
Note that it doesn’t matter what you do, what matters is what they care about. You should find a way to tie your product or service to their primary goal.
If you can’t, it might mean that your business idea isn’t viable, so you might want to go back to the drawing board.
It doesn’t matter if you sell web development services, web design services, or digital marketing services, if your target audience is authors, you need to show them how what you do will help them increase book sales.
Also, keep in mind that stuff that would seem impressive to your peers might look like gibberish to your potential clients.
Or, even worse, it might make them feel stupid. And no one wants to work with people who make them feel that way.
If you are a coder and want to build apps that help authors sell more books, then don’t try to impress them with your technical prowess.
You might think that mentioning the programming languages that you know will make you seem more legit, but the average author might not even be aware of what Python is. Is that a type of snake?
Plus, it’s probably safe to say that the average author finds all this computer stuff mind-numbingly boring, so they might also simply tune out.
That’s why you need to keep your elevator pitch focused on what is relevant to them: book sales.
The same goes for all products and services. Keep your elevator pitch focused on the potential customer. It shouldn’t be about you, it should be about what you can do for them.
#3 Provide Social Proof
Anyone can say anything about themselves. So how can people know that you are the real deal? That’s what social proof is for.
It can be:
- Names of previous clients (prestigious institutions, well-known companies, famous people, etc.).
- Results that you have gotten your previous clients (doubled their revenue, increased their profit by 25%, etc.).
- Relevant accomplishments (sold more than 100,000 copies of your book, built a 6-figure business in one year, etc.)
- Relevant credentials (a Ph.D., an industry-specific certification, etc.)
…and so on.
Basically, anything that indicates that other people think highly of you is social proof, whether it’s a direct endorsement such as a testimonial or an indirect endorsement such as working with you or buying from you.
You want to include your most impressive piece of social proof in your elevator pitch. What is most likely to make the potential customer pay attention to you?
#4 End With a Call to Action
An elevator pitch might be super short, but it’s still a sales pitch, which means that it needs to end with a call to action.
Don’t just tell the potential customer what you do and leave it at that. Tell them what you want them to do next.
As we have already discussed, the purpose of an elevator pitch is not to close the sale but to get the potential customer to take the next step in your sales funnel.
Keep in mind that the smaller the ask, the more likely it is that they will do it.
#5 Keep it Short!
Remember that an elevator pitch is supposed to be just a few sentences that get the potential customer interested in learning more.
It’s easy to get carried away and end up with few paragraphs instead of trying to fit in all the stuff that you think will impress them.
In reality, that’s more likely to make them tune out, since the longer the text the less likely people are to read it, especially online.
You will have an opportunity to get into the details later if your elevator pitch works. So keep it short.
Elevator Pitch Example: Vanessa Lau
Vanessa Lau is a social media expert who teaches content creators and coaches how to make money online.
It’s probably safe to say that her main platform is her YouTube channel which has 482k subscribers at the time of writing.
Take a look at the elevator pitch on her channel banner:
“Helping content creators and coaches get visible + get paid
New videos every week”.
It’s immediately clear who this channel is for, what kind of value you can expect, and what her upload schedule is.
And if you go to the “About” section of Vanessa’s YouTube channel, you’ll see a different elevator pitch that uses her business experience as social proof:
“I’m a multiple 7-figure online business owner. Subscribe to my channel for helpful social media and entrepreneurship content for coaches and content creators!”
Meanwhile, on her Instagram bio, there’s yet another elevator pitch where she mentions her company, business experience, YouTube following, and that she’s “Helping new coaches turn their followers into clients”.
Do you see how powerful an elevator pitch can be?
In all three examples, Vanessa immediately makes it clear what she’s all about, and in the latter two she backs it up with her accomplishments.
Yeah, we want to hear what she has to say, don’t you?
How Can You Take Your Elevator Pitch to the Next Level?
Now you have an effective elevator pitch. But how can you make it even better?
Here are some ideas:
Test Various Elevator Pitches
You want to come up with a variety of elevator pitches, then test them all and see which one resonates the most with your potential customers.
You can do that by:
- Testing several cold email templates and seeing which one gets the most responses.
- Changing social media bios every month to see if it has any effect on the growth of your following.
- Talking to potential customers in industry events and watching how they react to your elevator pitch. Are they intrigued? Confused? Bored?
It is highly unlikely that you came up with the most effective elevator pitch possible on your first try.
So don’t hesitate to brainstorm and experiment. That’s the only way to find out what works best for your business.
Have Different Elevator Pitches for Different Audiences
We recommend entrepreneurs focus on a narrow, clearly defined niche when they are just starting out.
If that’s where you’re at, all you need is a single elevator pitch. So focus on polishing the one you already have.
However, as businesses grow, they often expand into other niches, which means that you are serving not one but several target audiences at the same time.
Say, ClickFunnels is a great example of this, since our software is made for anyone who wants to sell products or services online.
It’s used by software companies, eCommerce stores, digital agencies, authors, content creators, you name it…
In a situation like that, you need a general elevator pitch that works for everyone + specific elevator pitches for the different audiences that you serve.
We want to encourage you to think about these different audiences, create ideal customer personas for each of them, then think about how best to present your business to each of these personas.
This will be especially helpful if you are attending industry events in several niches and want to make the most out of it networking-wise.
Add Some Personality to Your Elevator Pitch
Your potential customers have likely heard similar elevator pitches from businesses that sell similar products or services.
So how can you stand out of the crowd?
You can do that by adding some personality to your elevator pitch.
Of course, the effectiveness of this approach depends on your target audience, so if you are selling to stuck-up corporate types, keep your elevator pitch formal and corporate.
But if you are selling to people who favor a more laid-back, casual, and hip approach to business, then look for ways to spice up your elevator pitch.
Maybe you could:
- Use less formal language.
- Add some slang words.
- Use an emoji or two.
…you get the idea.
However, note that no matter how casually you present yourself, you still need to come across as trustworthy, competent, and professional.
Also, your elevator pitch is your opportunity to make a great first impression, but then you need to ensure that the “vibe” of your business remains consistent all throughout your sales funnel.
If you spice up your elevator pitch, but then leave the rest of the sales funnel as it is, potential customers might find it confusing and alienating.
Get More and Better Social Proof!
Entrepreneurs often don’t put enough effort into getting social proof.
Maybe they don’t realize how important it is. Or maybe they are just afraid to go out there and get it.
Either way, the social proof that the average entrepreneur has is not enough, so it’s likely that you also need more and better social proof.
Here’s what you want:
- Prestigious customers.
- Impressive accomplishments.
- Features in major media outlets.
All this may seem out of your reach if you are just starting out, but we want to reassure you that it isn’t, you just need to be proactive about it.
So get out there, get more and better social proof, and watch how the effectiveness of your elevator pitch skyrockets.
Your Elevator Pitch Works. Now What?
Your elevator pitch is just the start.
You then need to convert that person into a lead, that lead into a customer, and that customer into a repeat customer.
And that’s not something you can just wing. At least not if you want to build a sustainable business.
You need a system.
Fortunately, our co-founder Russel Brunson has come up with such a system, which is called the Value Ladder sales funnel.
Want to know how to implement it in your business?
That’s what our Five Day Challenge is all about.
You will learn how to:
- Generate unlimited leads.
- Create your first lead magnet.
- Build your first sales funnel.
- Create a simple 6-email follow-up sequence.
- And launch your funnel!
…in just five days.
So don’t hesitate.