The punch line from Seth Godin’s recent posted titled “No One Ever Bought Anything In An Elevator” is that “The purpose of an elevator pitch isn’t to close the sale…No, the purpose of an elevator pitch is to describe a situation or solution so compelling that the person you’re with wants to hear more even after the elevator ride is over.” This post reminded me of an excellent book on the subject called “Small Message Big Impact” by Terri Sjodin. Read my full review at Amazon – it’s called “I’m Sold“.
Sjodin provides structure to the 3 minute elevator pitch – which means that most people, when presented with a clear challenge will shift into a natural problem solving mode. The sequence contains 5 distinct steps: 1) Gain attention, 2) establish need for change, 3) Satisfy need with a solution, 4) Visualization – project audience into future where they can see themselves enjoying the benefit, 5) Action Step – or close where you tell your audience what you want them to do today.
A few of my favorite excerpts:
- “…life is busier, more crowded, and more competitive. We must earn the opportunity to be heard in today’s market…people have little time to spare. Rivalry is rampant, whether from companies offering the same products or services as yours…”
- “…I’ve found that it takes approximately 3 minutes to establish rapport with someone and build an intriguing message. Plus a person will usually give you that amount of time if you asked for it”
- “…the point is you don’t have to score on every play, just advance the ball.”
- “…I often see people make the mistake of being overly informative rather than persuasive. The data-dump syndrome is one of the most common pitfalls…”
Related Articles: HBR – Why You Need a Better Elevator Speech