The idea behind an “elevator pitch” is simple. Pretend you’re in an elevator with potential investors. You have only a few seconds to pitch your great idea. What would you say in the space of a 30-second elevator ride?
5 Tips for a Killer Elevator Pitch
- Grab attention. What can you say that will instantly grab the attention of venture capitalists or potential clients?
- Keep it simple. A good elevator pitch should cover only the most important points.
- Think in terms of problems and solutions. What issues is your target market dealing with? How does your business idea solve these problems?
- Engage. Try to connect with the audience and its issues.
- Talk to your exact target audience. Who are your potential customers or investors? Different audiences have different needs.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Short Pitch
- Don’t ramble or provide too much information. Remember, an effective elevator pitch is short.
- Avoid jargon and technical language. A good pitch is simple enough for anyone to understand.
- Don’t give too much away. Provide key information, but only say enough to get your audience wanting more.
- Don’t sound stiff or overly practiced. A good pitch requires good communication skills.
- Don’t be too pushy. No one likes to feel pressured or as if they’re dealing with an aggressive sales rep.
Successful Elevator Pitch Examples
1. The 30 Second Pitch
Let’s say you’ve met someone at a networking event. During the few seconds that you’re shaking their hand, what could you say to drum up new business?
“Did you know that an estimated 35% of small businesses shut down permanently due to COVID-19? With our app, we’ve found a way to save these businesses. What it does is simple. We’ve basically created a network of business owners who can rent space together. This helps businesses stay afloat by saving money.
For example, bakeries can move in with coffee shops, laundromats with barbers. We’ve already seen success with this model. In fact, one of our members, a new entrepreneur, recently reported a 15% increase in its revenue. Surviving business challenges takes a group effort. That’s why we’re looking for motivated investors…”
2. The 5 Second Pitch
Picture this: Steve Jobs, or the people from Shark Tank, are walking through a crowded room. What could you say to grab their attention in this short amount of time? (This can also be seen as the short version of the above pitch.)
- “We make it easy to connect with previous clients.”
- “Are your numbers dropping? We’re growing by a thousand users a day!”
- “Is your market reaching peak saturation? Here’s how to get in before the door closes for good.”
- “97% of marriages end in divorce once papers are served. Want to know how to be part of the 3%?”
- “Recruiting top talent can be difficult. But with our system, the best people come to you.”
3. The Hard Facts Pitch
In this pitch, you only talk about the facts and features of your product. Cut out everything about the problem, solution, or what type of audience you’re appealing to.
“My company designs and develops online sales funnels for internet marketers. We specialize in helping e-commerce companies sell more of their products. What’s different about our funnels is that they are personalized. This means your target customer gets a user experience that is uniquely aligned with their wants and needs.
We’ve found that this tailor-made experience can dramatically increase sales and also help to build your brand. It works so well that one of our clients managed to boost their revenue by more than 150% per month. Does your company have any interest in e-commerce automation?”
4. The Benefits Pitch
Here you take an opposite approach to the above pitch. Instead of focusing on the features of your product or idea, use your available pitch deck to talk exclusively about the benefits.
“Does your business rely on effective communication with clients? Calls, voicemails, and emails are becoming less and less effective. This is especially true with people below the age of 30. On the other hand, almost 90% of texts are read within 2-3 minutes. Our software company provides businesses with a live two-way texting solution. Texting allows your business to connect instantly with existing clients and new prospects. This way, you can grow your leads, increase revenue, and enhance customer satisfaction…”
5. The Social Proof Pitch
Social proof is often the best way to motivate people. If your friends recommend the product, there’s a good chance you’ll also be interested.
“It seems that you and I have a mutual connection – Bob Jones. He’s actually the person from whom I got your contact information. Did you know that Bob was able to triple the number of leads gathered from his website? He did this by implementing our solution. Having analyzed your website, we feel you could achieve the same type of results. If you’re interested in hearing what we did for him and what we can do for you, why don’t we set up a meeting?”
6. The Quick and to the Point Pitch
A solid elevator pitch contains no fluff. With this pitch, you quickly mention the solution and what you do.
“Hi, I’m the CEO and founder of Merchant Solutions. We help businesses with their payments. Our company does this by comparing their options for merchant processing. Then we help customers find the best and cheapest option. Our service is completely free, and there are no obligations. What’s more, it takes only a minute to use our service. If you’re interested, can we set up a time to talk?”
7. The Problem Statement Pitch
In this pitch, you start with your audience’s pain points. This is followed up with an explanation of how you’re going to solve these problems. Consider the following questions as an example.
“Have you ever been in a rush and couldn’t find your car keys? Have you missed important meetings or been late to work because your keys were missing? If this hasn’t already happened, it’s going to happen. Believe it or not, in a recent survey, respondents claimed this happens up to seven times per month. That’s an incredible 84 times per year.
Our company has a solution which can solve this problem. With the power of Bluetooth technology, we’ve created a key that can be instantly located, simply by using your smartphone. This helps you find your keys in a jiffy. Our early-stage prototype is now working and ready to be manufactured. We’re looking for savvy investors who want to get in on the ground floor…”
8. The Education Pitch
Are you meeting a venture capital firm that knows nothing about your service or business model? In this case, you’ll need to start by educating them.
“A pregnancy doula is someone who assists during labor. They offer emotional and physical support to you and your partner. A doula can also help with childbirth education and provide postpartum services such as lactation support. I am one of New York’s most experienced doulas. Over the last decade, I’ve assisted more than 700 women during pregnancy and provided support for another 1,400. I’ve also written several books on childbirth. I would love to assist you with the birth of your child. If you’d like to speak about this and how I can help, let’s meet after this presentation…”
9. The What You Do Pitch
An elevator discussion is not always about pitching your business plan or idea. Sometimes you’ll simply want to mention your job title or what you do.
“Hi, my name is David Weber, and I’m a licensed chiropractor. I help people overcome the aches and pains they acquire through daily living. In addition to this, I assist people in improving their posture and also their range of motion. With my help, you can unleash your body’s natural healing ability. Not only that, but you can also avoid invasive cures such as surgery and drugs…”
10. The Saves You Time and Money Pitch
What’s the most important thing to focus on when you’re in front of investors? Time and money are always good examples.
“Hi, we’ve taken a look at your productivity numbers and noticed there’s room for improvement. Simply by using our project management software, you could enhance your productivity by at least 10%. This means you’ll get more done and complete tasks faster. Ultimately this will result in greater profits and increased market share. If you’d like to take a look at these numbers…”
11. The Comparison Pitch
Compare your product or service to something which is already famous or well-known. This comparison helps grab attention and provides clarity for your own pitch.
“We’re an online platform which connects local homeowners with house cleaners. You could say we’re a type of Uber for maids. With us, you can compare locally available house cleaners with options for price and availability. Also, just like Uber, you can look at reviews, ratings and instantly book a maid from our app. Our platform helps to empower house cleaners and homeowners. We do this by replacing the overhead usually found in these types of services. With us, finding a house cleaner is effortless…”
12. The Acronym Pitch
Acronyms are an essential tool for recalling information. Even if the audience doesn’t remember what the acronym stands for, the key thing is that this pitch stands out.
“My name is Brian Jones, and I’m a full-service web developer and SEO specialist. I can help you with ABCDEF: analytics, backlinks, content, web development, e-commerce, and Facebook. For anything to do with online promotion, it’s as easy as 123, work with me…”
13. The Interesting Fact Pitch
These types of elevator pitches work if you have a particularly interesting fact about your product. This can include statistics, or something people would never have guessed about your business.
“Did you know that it’s possible to create more than 100 outfits from the clothes you already own? Hi, my name is Tracy Pearson, and I’m a full-time personal shopper and wardrobe stylist. With my help, you can take the stress out of dressing. We’ll start by tossing the junk out of your closet. This way, you get to decide what to keep and what to toss out. After that, we’ll go shopping and fill the gaps left in your wardrobe. This includes fitting and developing a new style.
I’ve worked with job seekers, divorcees, models, and people just like you. What you wear is always an individual decision, but with my help, you can look like a million dollars and make a good first impression…”
14. The Differentiation Pitch
How is your idea different? Are the key elements better, faster, cheaper, or more effective than the competition?
“Need to create a high-quality video for your business? Unfortunately, this means you’ll have to hire a video production company. The problem with these companies is that they cost a fortune. Another problem is that they take forever. For example, they usually need between six to eight weeks to shoot, edit and produce your video. On the other hand, with our video production software, you can cut this down to about 30 minutes. These are professional quality videos and come complete with animation, music, and text. Just think of the time and money this can save you!”
15. The Numbers Pitch
Are there strong numbers behind your idea? If so, open your pitch with these numbers.
“Our company has helped more than 345,798 small businesses grow by an average of 25%. We also managed to do this in under 90 days. The key to doing this is an app that connects small businesses like coffee shops with freelancers who are looking for space to work.
With our help, you can notify freelancers if space is available. This has many benefits for both parties. Freelancers are able to find a place to work, and businesses can bring in extra customers. For example, with this app, our clients have increased their revenue by 3% a day. While this may not be your usual best outcome, it’s better than empty tables. If you’d like to talk more about our app, feel free to get in contact immediately…”
16. The Money Pitch
Is your pitch nothing more than a good idea followed by an executive summary? Be aware. Some angel investors actually want to know how you’re going to make money.
“Our team members believe in the value of market testing. We want to know if a product is actually viable before we start manufacturing. This time we decided to try something different and created a campaign on Kickstarter. After just 30 days, we reached our funding goal and attracted over 1,587 backers. This means that when our product ships, we’ll generate over $342,335 in sales.
As you can see, this is a highly sought-after product. And although our crowdfunding campaign was successful, we’re still looking for qualified investors. As always, the right time to invest is now. If you’d like to take advantage of this great opportunity…”
17. The Credibility Pitch
One of the most important parts of your pitch is proving that you’re credible. If your idea seems too good to be true, then use this type of pitch.
“After working for more than ten years as a social media manager for various Fortune 500 corporations, I decided to start my own social media marketing business. With my experience, you can build the loyal and engaged audience you’re looking for…”
18. The Success Story Pitch
Customer testimonials are a powerful way to convince people. Open your pitch with a great story, and also include these in your presentation slide deck.
“A recent client was able to double their followers in only three months. Along with this, they managed to boost engagement rates by 15%. What’s more, this person used to spend a minimum of three hours a day on their social media accounts. Today it takes them as little as 20 minutes. If you’d like the same type of success, I’d love to talk more about my process…”
19. The Emotional Appeal Pitch
A great elevator speech should appeal to emotions. This pitch is a good fit if your idea is charity-related.
“Did you know that more than 885 people have no access to clean drinking water? By 2030 we’d like to reduce this number by 50%. Half of this task requires building infrastructure. The other half requires money. That’s why we need donations from people like you. Simply by donating a dollar a day, you can help to bring clean drinking water to people around the world. Over the last decade, we’ve completed more than 50,745 water projects, served over 14,078,234 people, and worked in 45 countries. With your help, we can continue this much-needed work. Even a single person can create change in the world. If you’d like to donate…”
20. The Call to Action Pitch
What are the next steps your audience needs to take? For instance, take a look at the following sales pitch example.
“Social media is vitally important for today’s small business. It’s almost like a modern-day business card. But no matter what you do, you can’t get it working for you. This is deeply frustrating and also exhausting. After spending months or even years on this, you’re still no closer than you were at the beginning. But here’s what you need to realize. Social media is a lot easier than you think.
The reason why you’ve failed is simply because you’re doing it wrong. As someone who owns a social media marketing business, this is something I see every day. That’s why I’ve created a report called “10 Deadly Mistakes Small Business Owners Make When Using Social Media.” In this report, you’re going to learn about the simple errors you’re probably making…plus how to turn these around to your advantage and get things right the first time. This report is FREE and available for instant download. To grab your copy, simply click here now…”
21. The Unique Selling Proposition Pitch
What is your unique value proposition? This is the perfect elevator pitch if your company does something completely different.
“I’m a sales representative for Hotel Cable Solutions. We work with hotels across the US. Our goal is to assist you in finding the best cable provider for your unique needs. With our expert advice, we can help you identify a cost-effective plan for your business. We can also help you identify which type of cable provider is most likely to enhance customer satisfaction…”
22. The Reality Check Pitch
Is your audience making a costly error and completely unaware of it? Wake them up with a quick reality check.
“Your average office worker spends several hours a day putting together reports. This adds up to hundreds of hours per year. Not only are you wasting staff resources, but you’re also wasting paper. In fact, did you know that companies in the US spend a combined total of $120 billion on paper per year? In our opinion, this is way too much money. Worse than this, many of these printed pages are immediately discarded, without even being looked at.
We’d like to change this. Our software extracts data from every tool your business uses. This way, you can generate digital reports in less than 60 seconds. Not only that, you can create reports in any format you’d like. From pie charts to graphs. With us, you can stop wasting so much time on reports and increase the productivity of staff. To get started now…“
23. The Advisor Pitch
Here you take the position of the trusted advisor. You demonstrate that you understand their business and then provide different ways to solve their problems.
“During the last five years, I’ve worked as a business coach for more than a dozen B2B SaaS companies. What I’ve found is that, while many of these companies have excellent products, they struggle with marketing themselves. One of the easiest solutions to this is content marketing. By starting a blog and publishing excellent content, you can harness the power of Google and drive thousands of qualified leads to your website. Actually, according to the companies I’ve worked with, it’s possible to increase your inbound leads by as much as 20%. Would you like to know more about this?”
24. The Gimmick Pitch
The perfect pitch doesn’t necessarily have to be serious. Lighten the mood by opening with a joke (some people have also tried singing their pitch).
“Did you hear about the pregnant bed bug? She gave birth in the spring. Jokes aside, bed bugs are a serious problem in the US. In fact, it’s estimated that 20% of Americans have discovered bed bugs in their home. In the past, these bugs were extremely difficult to get rid of. You either needed to fumigate your home or throw your mattress out.
Luckily this is a thing of the past. Today’s pest controllers use something called heat treatments. This is a method of pest control that uses super-heated vapor. No living creature can withstand extreme temperatures. This means bed bugs die immediately upon contact with this vapor. Bob’s pest control can kill 100% of your bed bugs, including their larvae and eggs. Not only that, we can do it in only 2-3 hours. To learn more about please contact us at…”
25. The Product Pitch
This pitch is useful if you have an interesting or unique product. Simply talk about the way in which your product is different and special.
“Do you have family heirlooms such jewelry? This is often stuff you’re keeping for sentimental reasons, but would never wear. Our company designs custom replicas of this jewelry. This way you can create a new piece of jewelry which matches your family heirloom identically. Wear this new piece when you’re out and about, while your family piece is safe at home…”
The above examples should give you enough material to come up with a great elevator pitch. They can be used anywhere, from presentations to sales copy, and even job interviews. What you say will vary on your goal, but the best practice is always to keep things short and sweet.
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