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How to Craft an Effective Elevator Sales Pitch

Written by:

Victoria Yu is a Business Writer with expertise in Business Organization, Marketing, and Sales, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business.

Edited by:

Sallie, holding a Ph.D. from Walden University, is an experienced writing coach and editor with a background in marketing. She has served roles in corporate communications and taught at institutions like the University of Florida.

How to Craft an Effective Elevator Sales Pitch

How to Craft an Effective Elevator Sales Pitch

As companies return to office spaces and in-person events, returning with them will be the time-old craft of the elevator sales pitch. While most of us have been working from home and over Zoom, if your craft is sales and you have not gained a finer, nostalgic appreciation for these often effective, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appeals, there’s no time like today to begin learning how to hone your own “stand-out” elevator sales pitch.

In this guide, we’ll be going over the elements of a perfect elevator pitch, including how to write one, looking at different examples, and discussing tips on ways to improve any sales elevator pitch.

Key Takeaways

  • A good elevator pitch is concise and straight to the point. The most important elements of a good pitch are a strong hook, solid introduction, targeted appeal, and strong call to action.

  • The seven steps to writing an effective elevator pitch are to know your audience, identify your goal, catch attention with a hook, build your company’s mission and authority, explain your product, deliver your call to action, hone and edit your pitch, and practice your pitch.

  • Some examples of the best situations in which you could use an elevator pitch include when you are attending networking events, career fairs, SaaS sales, and for podcast ads.

What Makes a Good Elevator Sales Pitch?

An elevator sales pitch includes a condensed introduction, sales offer, and call to action for you and your brand. It’s used in situations where you only have a brief—less than a minute—window of time to make an impression on a potential business connection or client. It is a shortened sales pitch you can launch when you find yourself on a short elevator ride, by chance, with a particularly good sales prospect.

The key to a good elevator sales pitch is maximizing sales impact in as little time as possible. If you think having a good elevator sales pitch can benefit you in your work, then look no further. Following are some common elements of the best elevator sales pitches.

1. A Strong Hook

Just because your listener is trapped in a space with you doesn’t mean they’re willing to listen to what you have to say! That’s why the best elevator pitches always start off with a strong, interesting hook that captures your listener’s attention. In the same way an appetizer whets a diner’s appetite, a solid hook should introduce your sales offer and make your listener crave to hear more.

2. A Solid Introduction

Next up is a short yet solid introduction of you and your business. Why are you an authority on this issue, and why should the listener pick your business over the multitudes of competitors in the market? You might differentiate yourself on traits such as your market niche expertise, your history of customer success, or your company’s vision for the future. Setting your company or product apart will help you build trust and rapport between you and your audience.

3. A Targeted Appeal

The thing about an elevator sales pitch is that, just like a normal sales conversation, it should be made with the end goal of a sale in mind. In other words, your elevator pitch should target precisely a specific customer pain point, enticing your listener to take an interest in your business solution.

4. A Strong Call to Action

Finally, once your targeted appeal has brought a specific pain point and need to your audience’s mind, your closing act should be a strong call to action to guide your listener further down your sales funnel. 

If you’re delivering your elevator pitch while making door-to-door sales, you may have your product on hand that you can demonstrate and sell. But if you’re delivering your sales pitch during impromptu encounters, your call to action might simply be an invitation to stop by your shop, visit your website, or call the number on your business card.

Eight Steps to Craft An Effective Elevator Sales Pitch

Now that we’ve looked at the bare bones of the elements needed to make an effective elevator sales pitch, let’s take a look at a general outline of how you can craft your own pitch by making the best use of each of the must-have elements and their attributes.

1. Know Your Audience

The first step is to know who you’re speaking to. In other words, determine your ideal customer profile (ICP).

Your ICP is a list of the features and attributes that correlate to the customer most likely to purchase from your business. Ideally, you’ll have separate ICPs for each unique product you sell or each of the unique needs your products might meet. Some may even have two or more ICPs, depending on product versatility.

Though not a comprehensive list, here are some basic attributes you should take care to specify in each ICP:

Firm SizeAge
Annual RevenueGender
Growth RateOccupation
Team SizeEducation
Average Order ValueAverage Order Value
Preferred Communication ChannelsPreferred Communication Channels
Reasons for PurchasingReasons for Purchasing

Knowing your ideal customer profile will make you better able to determine who, out of the masses, would be most receptive to your elevator sales pitch. Using your ideal customer profile as a guide will prevent you from wasting time pitching to people who are unlikely to be interested in your business or in making a purchase.

2. Identify Your Goal

Before you put your pen to paper, the first step to creating your elevator sales pitch is to identify your intended outcome. Knowing what you expect from brief encounters with prospects will help you set the tone of your pitch, as well as determine your call to action at the end. 

As we mentioned earlier, you may not be prepared to make a sale right then and there, or it may not be feasible to expect customers to make a large financial decision after only 60 seconds of conversation. For example, if you’re a car salesperson, there’s no sensible way to convince your customer to purchase a car without having the car there for them to see and drive!

That’s why your next step will likely be to simply establish further contact with your lead to move them further down the sales funnel.

Some examples of “feasible” goals you might have for your elevator sales pitch could include having your prospect:

  • Purchase your product (if you have it on hand)
  • Take a promotional marketing item from you (such as a free pen)
  • Remember a mnemonic of your business name
  • Connect with you on LinkedIn
  • Follow your business on social media
  • Accept your business card
  • Give you their own business card
  • Call you
  • Visit your website
  • Visit your store
  • Place an order to be fulfilled later

3. Have a Strong Hook

Finally, we get to the actual writing section of your elevator sales pitch. As we mentioned earlier, a strong hook is crucial for capturing your audience’s attention, building rapport, and drawing them into a conversation. 

For example, your hook could:

  • Ask a question
  • Comment about a mutual connection or hobby
  • Tell a personal anecdote
  • Tell a customer story
  • Provide an attention-grabbing statistic

In other words, the hook should bring your prospect’s pain point to the front of their mind.

For larger audiences, such as brief encounters with prospects at a trade show, when asking a question, you’ll need to ask rhetorical questions. However, during one-on-one interactions, it is best to ask personalized questions that will elicit a response. Remember, it is through more personalized engagement that you’ll be able to build a stronger rapport with your listener.

Ideally, your personalized hook should be tailored to the situation in which you’re delivering the elevator sales pitch or to the person you’re delivering the pitch to. For example, if your product is a device that helps people save time, you might comment on how much time people waste on long elevator rides. Or, if you run a tailoring business, a compliment on the other person’s outfit would be both flattering and relevant.

4. Build Your Company’s Mission and Authority

Now that you’ve got your lead’s attention, the next step is to get their buy-in on you and your company by establishing your company’s vision and authority as an expert on the subject.

For example, think about the last time the Girl Scouts came knocking at your door. Rather than trying to sell you by talking about how delicious the cookies are, the group’s selling point is that their sales provide opportunities for girls to learn entrepreneurial and other real-life skills. 

In other words, rather than appealing to the snack market, the Girl Scouts appeal to the market of people who support the development and success of young girls. Even non-snackers (like me!) are convinced to buy a box just because we want to support their vision.

Your Company’s Mission

When crafting your elevator pitch, you will need to have a firm grasp of your company’s mission. What is the vision of your business? Why should your audience purchase from you, rather than any other company in the market? Hook your prospect using your business’s dream, and get their buy-in on an emotional and ethical scale. 

For example, rather than “We’re trying to raise enough money for an IPO,” try “We’re trying to make healthy snacking more accessible to combat the obesity epidemic.” Though both could be true, one of them is much more noble and loyalty-inspiring than the other!

Your Company’s Authority

Alternatively, explain why you and your business have authority and expertise in your industry. Your company might have made a proprietary new development in your field that makes your business better than that of competitors, or you might have a long history of customer loyalty and success. Touching on these points will help build trust in your business to get the job done, positioning it as the best solution for the pain point you established earlier.

For example, you might explain, “Our company has developed a proprietary CRM software that can process and analyze more customer information at a fraction of the processing power and cost. Hundreds of customers have come back to us with reports of doubled sales rates and customer satisfaction scores.”

5. Explain Your Product

Next up is to explain your product. Rather than focusing on explicit product attributes, go one step further and explain the value it brings to customers that they can’t get anywhere else.

To do this, think about your business’s unique selling proposition (USP). What does your business or product do that’s unique, and why does it help to solve the customer’s problem? For example, though clothing stores are a dime a dozen, your product explanation could be that your clothes are “100% cotton, which helps you stay cool and stylish in the summer.”

You may also want to tailor this to your client’s unique pain points, based on what you’ve observed or gleaned from the conversation so far – for example, someone holding a Starbucks cup might be more interested in your special, artisanal offerings than someone holding a generic cafeteria coffee cup. 

Keep in mind that your description and word choice should appeal directly to the pain points you raised and the company mission you established. Determine what you want your customers to feel and think to make them most receptive for your next step.

6. Have a Call to Action

At this point in the pitch, your lead should already know why your business and product are the ideal solution to the pain point(s) you brought up. All that’s left now is to give them an actionable next step to follow if they want to solve their pain point by making a purchase.

As we mentioned in our goals, the next step for your potential customer may not necessarily be to make a purchase decision right then and there. Likely, it will simply be an invitation to open up further discussion at a later time, such as by exchanging contact information. 

For a more appealing call to action, you might add a limited-time or exclusive special offer to your elevator sales pitch prospects. For example, you could offer to give a 10% discount to customers if they call you within a week and mention that they spoke to you in the elevator, or give them an exclusive code to use on your website for free shipping. This will help spur your lead into action once you’ve parted ways.

7. Fine-Tune Your Pitch

Now that you’ve got all the information you need to craft an effective sales pitch, it’s time to put it all together into a rough draft and to use your editor’s shears to refine them.

Try reading your pitch aloud to see how it sounds. Are there parts that are hard to say or hard to understand? Rework them until your pitch flows smoothly off the tongue, sounds right, and pleases the ear. 

Ask your friends, family, and coworkers to listen to your pitch. You might discover that you’ve used an industry-specific term that many won’t understand, or that you’ve made a leap in logic that you’ll have to bridge. The more feedback you can gain, the better.

Finally, remember that the shorter your pitch is, the better. According to revenue intelligence solution producer Gong, the ideal talk-to-listen ratio in sales is 46% talking to 54% listening. In other words, the less you speak, the more time you can spend engaging with the audience using open-ended questions and building a rapport.

8. Practice, Practice, Practice

Now that you’ve got a solid elevator sales pitch written, all that’s left is to spend time practicing and honing your delivery to create an engaging speech. That means training your body language and pacing, and keeping your pitch sharp and ready to go at any moment.

As reported by Forbes, only 7% of all communication is done verbally; 38% comes from the tonality of our voice, and 55% comes from body language. That means that to truly make an effective elevator pitch, you should be sure to improve on both tonality and body language.

Tone of Voice

First, let’s look at your tone of voice. Tonality describes the manner and delivery of your words. Do you start and stop erratically, do you stammer, or speak too quietly or loudly for the situation? How respectful or enthusiastic do you sound? For best effect, keep your pitch conversational, and make it sound natural and inviting.

Practice delivering your elevator pitch to develop a professional yet friendly tone at a volume suitable for an indoor space. Once you’ve mastered that, you should consider practicing your pitch to suit different spaces and situations, such as if you need to project for an auditorium or whisper if delivering it in a library. The more versatile your pitch’s tone, the better!

Body Language

Next, let’s look at your body language. The phrase “body language” describes how you hold your body as you conduct yourself. As you deliver your sales pitch, your body language should present you as being confident, professional, and friendly to help establish your authority. 

To convey this, you should stand tall with your feet and shoulders apart, keep your body turned toward your conversation partner, and maintain eye contact. You might want to add a few hand gestures here and there to help demonstrate your point, especially if you don’t have other visual aids to help convey your points.

Once you’ve perfected both your verbal and nonverbal elements, all that’s left is to practice. You should know your pitch well and be able to stop or start at any point, in case the lead wants to ask questions or make comments, or in case you decide to improvise or ad-lib your pitch. 

Every once in a while, practice giving your pitch in front of a mirror or to a friend, to keep it fresh. You never know when you’ll have an opportunity to make a sales pitch, so you should feel confident about delivering it at the drop of a hat.

Six Elevator Pitch Examples

If, after all that, you’re still not sure where to get started on writing your elevator pitch, here are a few elevator pitch examples you can use to develop your own personal pitch.

1. Elevator Sales Pitch Example for a Networking Event

A quick and memorable elevator pitch could help you gain new networking opportunities or new sales prospects at a networking event. Your pitch goal might vary, from getting people to remember your name and establishing a personal connection, to discovering new business opportunities for your company. 

Here’s a sample elevator pitch for a real estate worker looking to find clients to buy homes:

“The housing market has been crazy nowadays, hasn’t it? But our company, FairBlue Real Estate, works hard to find affordable, beautiful homes for all of our clients. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, looking to upgrade, or seeking investment opportunities, I can give you personalized, stress-free guidance every step of the way. 

If you’re looking to make your homeownership dreams come true, just call this number and ask for Victoria. I promise, I’ll leverage all 30 years of my professional experience to get you the house you deserve.”

2. Elevator Pitch Example for a Career Fair

At a career fair, your elevator pitch will be trying to sell the most unique product of all: you. Whether you’re a trade specialist like a programmer looking for a job opportunity, or a freelancer–such as a graphic designer looking for your next gig, your goal is to make a strong first impression and highlight your unique experience to get a job interview.

Here’s a sample elevator sales pitch for a nurse at a career fair.

“Hi, I’m Victoria, a registered nurse with over 10 years of experience in senior care. The sad truth is, most city lifestyles aren’t built with mobile-impaired citizens in mind, so I’ve made it my life’s mission to be the guiding hand for seniors–America’s most underserved age group. That’s why on top of day-to-day home care, I also focus on providing physical training routines that can empower seniors to reclaim their own bodies and lives.

I’m here today to explore opportunities with organizations that share my values of respect, empathy, and quality senior care. If you’d like to discuss how my skills and dedication can enhance the care you offer your residents, feel free to contact me at the email listed here on my resume.”

3. Elevator Sales Pitch Example for a SaaS Business

A software-as-a-service (SaaS) business has its work cut out for it, since software tends to serve a particular niche and there’s no physical product to display during the pitch. With a SaaS elevator pitch, the goal is to explain your product simply to potential customers, without relying on technical jargon.

Here’s a full version of the CRM sales pitch we alluded to earlier:

“Has your company struggled with attracting and retaining new customers? Our company, FairBlue, designs CRMs built to reveal what customers really want, and we help you leverage customers’ information to make more sales. Plus, our proprietary software uses cutting-edge programming to store and process more data with less storage, saving businesses money on server space.

If you’re interested in growing your marketing and sales tenfold, use my name, Victoria, as a discount code on our website to get a free 30-day trial of our CRM.”

4. Elevator Sales Pitch Example for a Podcast Ad

Possibly one of the best use cases for elevator sales pitches is in a podcast ad, where you likely only have 10 seconds, maximum, of speaking time to capture and convince your target audiences to purchase before they skip the ad.  

“There are over 6 million passenger car accidents in the United States per year. Rather than being caught unaware, FairBlue Insurance can provide you peace of mind on the road with tailored, affordable coverage that suits your unique needs, whether you’re a first-time driver, a family, or a seasoned road warrior. 

What sets us apart is our unwavering commitment to exceptional customer service and quick claims resolution. We’re here to protect your livelihood, ensure your safety, and help you navigate life’s unexpected turns.

Whether you’re looking to save on premiums or enhance your protection, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at and use the code FAIRBLUE2023 to get a free consultation with an expert agent.”

Tips for Crafting Your Elevator Pitch

Still looking to improve your pitch? Here are a few tips you could leverage to write a successful elevator pitch.

1. Tell a Customer Story

If you have a bit more time to make your pitch, you could open with an anecdotal story about a customer who found success and happiness after using your product. This helps target prospects empathize with your former customer while imagining themselves in their shoes.

If you’re an entrepreneur with a new business idea, you might even want to tell your own story, and what inspired you to start your business.

2. Leverage Data

According to RAIN Group, 69% of buyers reported that they became most persuaded to purchase after reading  primary research data that was relevant to their business. Therefore, if you have any cold, hard statistics on how your company or product could improve your prospect’s life, using that data as your hook or call to action could prove useful in improving your pitch’s success.

3. Make It Easy to Understand

If you’re giving an elevator speech, your target audience, most likely, was in the middle of something else, or will listen to a thousand more pitches over the next few hours. That means you need to make your pitch easy to digest and remember by presenting your problem and solution in simple terms without adding any unnecessary fluff, showboating, or complex words.

4. Speak Slowly and Clearly

Part of your pitch’s delivery that is crucial to making it easy to understand is speaking slowly and clearly. Though you may be eager to cover as much ground and as many fine details as possible, speaking too fast will overwhelm your audience and make your words nearly incomprehensible.

5. Be Prepared For Common Objections

As with all sales pitches, your prospect, most likely, isn’t ready to purchase straight out of the gate. They probably will have legitimate concerns or even objections they think will prevent them from purchasing. 

The most common objections relate to the customer’s budget, purchasing authority, need, and urgency timeframe, all of which is referred to as the BANT criteria. To raise your chances of success, you will need to handle these objections before they arise by mentioning them in your pitch. If time allows it, you could also ask probing, open-ended questions to see if these topics are a barrier against purchasing for your prospect.

6. Carry Props With You

If you know ahead of time that you’re going to be delivering your elevator sales pitch, it would be quite helpful if you bring small memorabilia, such as business cards or company pens, to hand out to your target audience. This is most appropriate for business settings, such as networking events, trade shows, or when you travel around town for business purposes.

Of course, if you’re giving elevator pitches at career fairs, you should be handing out your resume instead.


How long should elevator pitches be?

The name “elevator pitch” comes from the idea that a salesperson or prospective business partner could deliver it to someone in the span of an elevator ride together – in other words, around 30 seconds. 

Now, of course, some elevator rides (and pitches) will be longer or shorter. That’s why the key to delivering the perfect-length elevator pitch every time is to know what parts you can expand on or cut out, tailoring your pitch for each specific delivery opportunity and audience.

Where should I go to deliver my elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch shouldn’t be confined to the elevator. Instead, take your chances delivering your elevator pitch anywhere that communication is touch-and-go: trade shows, cafeteria lines, and networking events, just to name a few places where you might find fellow professionals and sales prospects.

You could even take your chances delivering your elevator pitch in your personal life, such as when waiting for a stoplight, between reps at the gym, or riding on the train. You should be ready to deliver your pitch at the drop of a hat, or whenever unexpected opportunities present themselves.

When else should I use my elevator pitch?

Though we focused specifically on elevator pitches for sales in this guide, the concept of an elevator pitch can also be applied for job interviews, casual introductions, speed dating, trade shows, and more. For that reason, it may be helpful to have more than one elevator pitch ready to go, so you can pick the appeal and introduction that best suits your current audience.

What’s the difference between a sales script and an elevator sales pitch?

A sales script is a full dialogue outline used by sales representatives to discover and qualify a potential sales lead using open-ended questions. On top of being longer (think 15 to 30 minutes), sales script conversations go back and forth between the sales rep and lead to conclusively determine if the lead is a good fit for the business or not, and to chart out next steps for the lead to move down the sales funnel.

On the other hand, an elevator sales pitch is a more touch-and-go sales script, meant simply to establish a connection with a potential lead. Should the listener come back for another conversation, a sales script is then used to more thoroughly qualify them.