Developing a powerful elevator pitch (or pitches)


Most people confuse elevator pitches with sales pitches, but they’re completely different. A sales pitch is a formal presentation.

An elevator pitch is a natural transition that takes place within a casual conversation


Your elevator pitch has greater impact if it consists of three main parts:

  • The Benefit. That’s the reason the customer/client might want what you’re selling.
  • The Differentiator. Becomes the reason the customer/client might want to use your services.
  • The Ask.That’s where you ask for a further meeting or next step- if the customer/client shows interest.

Each element in detail.

  1. The Benefit

The benefit is never the product that you’re selling. It’s always the effect (“impact”) that your proposition or product could have on the customer’s/clients own business needs.

The benefit must something specifically and directly relevant to the clients business, ideally with a financial metric.



  • “I sell inventory systems.” (That’s not product, not the benefit.)
  • “I sell inventory control systems that save you money.” (Benefit not specific.)


  • “Manufacturers use my system to reduce their inventory costs by 50%.”
  • “Companies hire me to streamline their inventory, saving on average a million euros.”
  1. The Differentiator


This is what makes you different from everyone else. If there’s no differentiator, you’re selling your industry, not your product.  There is no particular reason to buy from YOU.

Strong differentiators contain a fact that is concrete and independently measurable rather than unsubstantiated claims and opinions.

They should NEVER refer to your emotions, which are irrelevant to the customer.




  • “I am industry-leading and best-in-class.” (According to whom?)
  • “I can save you money faster than the competition. (Says who?)
  • “I am excited about providing you with best service!” (Who cares?)


  • “I have a patented method that delivers materials the day they’re needed.”
  • “My system holds the industry record for the most money saved.”
  1. The Ask


The worst mistake you can make in an elevator pitch is trying to close the sale or reach instant engagement.  It is too soon for that. At this point, all you want is that first but all-important fact-finding meeting, where you can assess the clients needs and mutually decide whether you can meet those needs.



  • “Here’s my card. Give me a call if you’re interested.” (Failing to ask.)
  • “I can send you a price quote/proposition.” (Closing too soon.)


  • “Since you’re interested, what’s the best way to move this forward?”

If you’ve got a strong enough benefit, and if your differentiator makes sense, you’ll probably get the meeting or progress to the next stage.

With practice, your elevator pitch can win you new clients wherever and whenever you might meet them

Example and Final Pointers to work on


Now, let’s pull it all together.  You want to leave a lasting impression

  • Keep it conversational. You want to sound like a colleague or a consultant.
  • Keep it simple. Avoid fancy words and technical jargon that might confuse the client.

Your value components relevant to the role needs and evidence of them making a difference

Component Role needs Your value
Your benefits
Your differentiator
Your ask
  • Keep the pitch succinct and clear, with as few words as possible.
  • The pitch should be easily understood by a layman, rather than filled with acronyms and industry terminology.
  • What problem does your business solve, and what can you do for your target audience?
  • Spell out what makes you qualified to do what you do, without using buzzwords like “outside the box” or “synergy.” Using credibility-driven words like “certified” will help sell you.
  • Keep your pitch broad; don’t go into too many details.
  • The pitch should be tangible and easily grasped by your audience.
  • Each target audience is different. The pitch should be tailored to the listeners.
  • No matter how many versions of your pitch you have, they should all convey the same basic message.
  • Start the conversation, and gradually hook your target..

Put yourself in the position of the listener. Shape the value message as a solution to a problem, and keep away from jargon. Talk about how you offer a solution to the problem without getting into detailed mechanics of how it works, or why it’s better than the competition. Don’t tie up every loose end — leave openings for questions.

Several examples:

“I work with people who are struggling to sell their products or services into large corporate accounts.”

“I help small businesses win big contracts with large corporate customers.”

“I help technology companies who struggle launching important new products into the market and want to improve their time-to-profitability.”



Essential Elements of a Powerful Elevator Pitch


  • Your pitch should take no longer than 30-60 seconds.
  • Clear. Use language that everyone understands. Don’t use fancy words thinking it will make you sound smarter. Your listener won’t understand you and you’ll have lost your opportunity to hook them.
  • Use words that are powerful and strong.
  • Use words that create a visual image in your listeners mind. This will make your message memorable.
  • Tell a Story. A short story, that is. A good story is essentially this: someone with a problem either finds a solution or faces tragedy. Either type of story can be used to illuminate what you do.
  • A great elevator pitch is aimed for a specific audience. If you have target audiences that are vastly different, you might want to have a unique pitch for each.
  • Goal Oriented. A powerful elevator pitch is designed with a specific outcome in mind. What is your desired outcome? You may have different pitches depending on different objectives. For instance do you want to: make a sale, gain a prospect, enlist support for an idea, or earn a referral.
  • Has a Hook. This is the element that literally snags your listener’s interest and makes them want to know more.  This is the phrase or words that strike a chord in your listener.


PETER COBBE – NOW ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS : Coaching and Consulting  via Skype / Facetime / 1 to 1 meetings


My career experience includes HR Director and senior executive roles in Barclays plc and Tesco plc leading major transformation and complex change programmes reporting at Board level .I have an MBA, BA and I am a member of the CIPD and Association for Coaching. I am an accredited coach with over 12 years of private client coaching experience and as an associate consultant with Penna (UK) dealing with career, life,executive and business coaching and counselling. I work in mentoring and coaching partnerships with executives to help achieve gains of importance to them.I help people of all ages, different cultures and job levels to understand more about themselves, their impact on others and how to develop across major dimensions in life.
I respect the integrity and confidentiality of my clients building on their existing great skills and abilities and evolving enhanced self guidance : ” No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities.”

Specialties: Holistic / systemic approach to coaching

Business/HR Strategy ,Change Leadership
Communications strategy

Remote coaching via Skype and Apple Facetime
Coaching for Executive performance /High Potential including C level
First 100 days
Career Coaching/portfolio lifestyle
Coaching for powerful presentations
Life Coaching
Executive advice on staff insight surveys
Facilitating key meetings and C- level strategic retreats engaging around people decisions that flow from business choices

Psychometrics,NLP,Emotional Intelligence
Confidence&Self Esteem
Creativity coaching
Independent Consulting propositions coaching
Non Executive director coaching
Business Report/White Paper writing
Graduate career coaching
Just a thought :

Five frogs are sitting on a log.
Four decide to jump off. How many are left?

Answer: five. Why? Because there’s a difference between deciding and doing.

Mark Feldman



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