Creating an Effective 30 Second Elevator Pitch to Instantly Engage Prospects

by Mar 5, 2017Lead Generation, Sales

Creating an Effective 30 Second Elevator Pitch to Instantly Engage Prospects

An elevator pitch originates from the idea that if you were to meet someone in an elevator, you should be able to sell yourself within the time-frame of that elevator ride. Elevator rides last on average 30-seconds, a symbol of the human concentration span. In sales, it means that you have 30 seconds to pitch your product before your audience gets bored.

Whether you’re attending a networking event or you’re out meeting new friends, the answer to: “What do you do?” or “What does your company do?” can easily become stressful if you haven’t developed and practised your elevator pitch.

A good elevator pitch can open the door to more conversation and possibly more sales and referrals. Unfortunately, many people fail to create effective elevator pitches. I have heard some people ramble on about their entire career story when asked a simple question as: “What do you do for a living?”.  In my view, the elevator pitch is a “humble brag”. It’s your opportunity to let strangers know just how awesome your product is without sounding egotistical.

For most, however, “humble bragging” doesn’t come easy, therefore, we’ve got five tips to help you create the perfect elevator pitch:

Identify the goal

Start by asking yourself, “What do I want to achieve with my elevator pitch?”. This will help you to find the right information to include in your pitch.

Here is a list of common goals:

  • I want the listener to refer his network to me
  • I want to introduce the listener to my business
  • I want to pitch a new idea and have the listener’s buy-in

Once you’ve identified our goal, you can then get into creating your speech.

Explain what you do

Every elevator speech should include a brief introduction to who you are and what you do. If you miss this part and dive straight into pitching your product, you may get these responses:

  • I’m sorry, who did you say you were?
  • Have we met before?
  • No thank you, I’m not interested

In explaining what you do, focus on the value that you bring to your clients. If there’s a major problem that you solve, mention it as well. It would also be wise to add in a statistic that will get your listener interested in learning more.

Here’s an example:

Instead of saying; ” We are in the business of environmental management.”

Rather say; “My business radically transforms peoples’ lives by reducing their carbon footprint by 40%.”

In the second sentence, you outlined the problem that your company solves and you added a number to it – that’s what people want to hear.

Communicate your USP (Unique Selling Point)

If you’ve been in business for longer than a month you will quickly realise that competition is rife unless you’ve invented a radical product that has never been seen. Nonetheless, having competitors does not mean that you cannot be unique in your own right.

Outline what you can do that your competitors can’t. Is it speed, efficiency or customer service? Add your USP to your elevator pitch.

Here’s an example: “We don’t use a traditional approach, we spend the first month conducting thorough research to find out exactly what the people need. Although this takes a bit more time, it means that on average, 90% of our clients are happy with the first version of our work.”

Ask a question

To keep the conversation flowing, ask open-ended questions that will help you to engage with your audience. Tie your questions to the problem you are solving.

Here is an example: If you’ve just pitched an innovative idea, you may ask; “So, how does your organisation feel about the ever-increasing need for innovation?”


The final step is to put everything together. Read it out loud and time yourself. Tweak it to make sure it doesn’t go longer than 30 seconds. Remember, your pitch needs to be short but effective!

Here’s an example of a complete elevator pitch from Mindtools:

“My company develops mobile applications that businesses use to train their staff remotely. This means that senior managers can spend time on other important tasks.

“Unlike other similar companies, we visit each organisation to find out exactly what people need. This means that, on average, 95 percent of our clients are happy with the first version of their app.

“So, how does your organisation handle the training of new people?”