You never know when the opportunity of a lifetime will walk through the door… or step onto an elevator. That’s why businessman Philip Crosby wrote in his “The Art of Getting Your Own Sweet Way,” that business people should have a prepared speech ready to present their ideas and benefits at any given moment.
“This is an all-encompassing, action-producing set of ideas that you pronounce while on the elevator with the big boss for just 1 minute,” Crosby wrote in his 1981 book.
Crosby’s reference took hold in both the business world and pop culture, and now an elevator pitch is considered a pivotal tool on the pathway to success. But what exactly is an elevator pitch, and how do you make a good one? What types of elevator pitches can you choose from, and when is the best time to use each? Therefore, it is a good idea to learn how to write an elevator pitch.
What is an Elevator Pitch in Business?
An elevator pitch is defined as a brief, persuasive speech used to spark interest in a company, a product, a person or an idea. Think of an elevator speech just as it’s name describes: If the big boss stepped onto the elevator and you had to give the perfect pitch in the seconds it takes to reach the next floor, what would you say?
Obviously, you don’t have time to go over many details, but you want to capture enough interest to score a coveted meeting and further discuss your ideas. You only have 20-30 seconds to make your case (an you want to speak slowly), so every word has to count.
Of course, an elevator pitch doesn’t have to be relegated to an elevator. Professionals can have one ready for any opportunity that might arise, whether it’s introducing oneself at a job interview or at career fairs, bumping into a potential client at the airport or meeting an esteemed investor on the subway.
6 Good Elevator Pitch Examples for Business
Elevator pitch examples come in a variety of forms. After all, you’re not going to use the same style pitch to try and score a job opportunity as you might employ to showcase a business concept. The following are six sample elevator pitches that can be used in business:
1. 30-Second Elevator Pitch Example
Think you can score a new job during an elevator ride? What about at a busy job fair? What is your verbal business card? The following is a standard, 30-second elevator pitch examplejob :
“Hi, my name is Bob, and it’s nice to meet you. I’m a sales manager at Jim’s Garage, specializing in premium sales and service of pre-owned imported vehicles. I heard about the position you’re looking to fill, and I’d love the opportunity to put my expertise to work for your company. In my experience, increased sales are the result of better coordination and communication. That’s how my team has been No. 1 in the local market for the past three years. I’d love to set up a time when I could tell you more about how my experience can benefit your company.”
2. Elevator Pitch Example for Job Interviews
Want to score your dream career? First impressions can make the difference between job seekers’ propelling careers and dead-end ruts. What first impression do you make during a job interview? Crafting an effective elevator speech is an effective way to introduce yourself and make the powerful impression you hope to leave.
“Hi, I’m Ginger Neuman, and I’ve been enthralled by technology since I took apart my first computer in third grade. After earning my bachelor’s degree in computer sciences, I’ve spent the past four years working in IT for Bill’s Burgers, the No. 3 fast-food chain in the Springtown metropolitan area. I’ve successfully built workstations and managed computer equipment across 17 locations, preventing and resolving countless hardware-related issues, sharpening skills that I’d love to apply to the role with your company.”
3. Networking Events Elevator Pitch Example
At crowded networking events or job fairs, you only have a few seconds to make a lasting impression… and the competition to be noticed is stiff. Your networking event elevator pitch must be short, sweet and to the point.
“It’s nice to meet you. My name is Grace, and I represent Zeitgeist, Inc., where we boost efficiencies for companies in 42 states. I know my communication and organizational skills could benefit your company, so reach out if ever you find an opportunity that could benefit us both. I think we could take your revenue to the next level. Here’s my card, and I’ll keep you contact information, as well.”
4. Elevator Sales Pitch Example
While frequently used as a personal branding tool, the classic elevator speech is at its heart a sales pitch, whether the item being sold is a product, a company or a person.
“Don’t you hate it when your shoes get covered in mud? I know no matter how carefully I tread, I can’t keep them clean on rainy days. Surely Shining Solution repels both liquids and solid debris from sticking to your shoes, no matter how much dirt and mud you find yourself walking through. For more than 10 years, our products has been used by farmers, truckers and even military organizations to keep their footwear spic and span through sleet, snow and floods. Thanks to our safe and industry-respected formula, you can spend less time wiping your feet and shining your shoes and more time doing what you love. Here’s my card, and let’s set up a time to further discuss how we can help keep your shoes surely shining every day.”
5. Elevator Pitch Example for Business Startup
If you found yourself on an elevator with your dream investor, and you knew you only had a few seconds to get them on board with your startup, what would you say? Whatever elevator speech you choose in the event you bump into business opportunities like Mark Cuban, you have to make an impact from the start, and tell the person why they should care.
“How often do you lose your remote control? Does it get lost in the couch cushions, or kicked under the table? What’s worse than needing to pause or rewind that last play of the big game only for the remote control to be found nowhere? Our company, Sensor Sensations, developed a solution to ensure your remote control is always at your fingertips. Our RFID technology with synced app tracks your remote control much like you might track your child’s phone, but it pinpoints the location within inches. With remote in hand, you’ll never miss a another exciting moment of gameplay. Let’s set up a time to discuss how we can partner and take this product to the next level. “
6. Personal Elevator Pitch Example
How do you sum up your career in a 30-second elevator pitch example? Unlike a networking event, you’re not a face among a growd of hundreds, and you have an opportunity to advertise yourself in a powerful and memorable way. What do you say?
“Have you focused on building your ecommerce website and as a result seen your in-store presence lag behind? As a web designer of 12 years, I have helped small and large retail businesses operator their brick-and-mortar and online marketplaces with balance and harmony. With my experience and skill, I can create a professional image, manage online inventory and boost online conversions. In fact, my most recent client reported a 33% boost in online sales after I redesigned their landing pages… plus they now have the extra time needed to keep their physical store operating in an effective and efficient manner.”
General Elevator Pitch Template
So, you’re ready to write your own elevator pitch, but you still don’t know where to start? The following template will set you on the right path to constructing the ultimate elevator speech.
- Introduce yourself. Who are you, and who (if anyone) do you represent?
- Present a problem. What is a problem experienced by many, including hopefully the person you’re pitching? Present a problem to which your subject, their company or their customers experience. An attention-grabbing statistic is an effective tool for emphasizing a problem.
- Present your solution. How can you, your company or your product solve the previously presented problem?
- Offer a value proposition. Why do you, your company or your product matter to the principle you’re pitching? Why should they care? Will it make them money? Will it improve their company? Will it enhance their lifestyles?
- Close with a call to action. You’ve got their attention, now what do you want them to do? Do you want them to call you? Meet with you? Just remember your name? Be sure and ask for what you want to get from the brief elevator speech.
Tips for the Perfect Elevator Pitch
Of course, not all elvator pitches are created equally. They can be phenomenal and effective, they can also be abysmal failures. The following are a few tips that will help you to craft an effective elevator pitch:
- Specify your goals. Avoid a vague request to someday work together. Are you hoping for a certain job? Specify the position to which you aspire. Do you think a specific product could help the company? Be sure and tell them why. Are you looking for an investment? Don’t be afraid to ask.
- Write it down. It’s easier to organize your elevator pitch in writing than construct it in your head. By writing it down, you not only can closely examine and edit your words and structure, but the hard copy gives you the chance to practice your elevator speech until it’s perfect. Then, you even can edit it over time as you learn what is effective and what is not.
- Customize the pitch. Busienss professionals hears countless elevator pitches from employees and colleagues, and many of them can spot a generic, cookie-cutter speech from a mile away. Even if you’ve written the ultimate elevator speech, be sure and taylor it to each subject. What are their interests? How can your product benefit their specific circumstance? Why would you make idea partners in the business venture?
- Avoid industry jargon. The pitch needs to be as basic and easy to understand as possible. You don’t know the expertise and vocabulary of every person to whom you might present your elevator pitch. The last thing you want to do is make them feel unformed, uneducated or confused. Avoid using acronyms and other tech-speak that the average person might not understand when writing your own speech. When describing products and companies, be sure and use their full descriptive names.
- Practice. Your elevator pitch is your big shot. Don’t make the mistake of walking into it cold. Practice serves two key purposes when preparing an elevator pitch. First, practice what you’ve written to see how long your speech is. If it’s much more than 30 seconds, you’ll need to keep editing the content and reducing your word count. Once you’ve achieved the perfect length, you’ll want to continue to practice the pitch until you can sound natural, and you can present it confidently and by memory. Be sure and practice controlling your body language at the same time, avoiding distracting gestures and misleading facial expressions.