Sales Storytelling: Only if I am in the lift with Darth Vader, it is a 5 Second Elevator Pitch

Sales Storytelling : The Elevator Pitch has the wrong focus. The focus on time is so great that we forget to get our message across.

Less than 5 years ago, I was a Business Director of a leading global Marketing Group. One day my boss said, “We have to work on our elevator pitch.” My response, ” Why do we need an elevated pitch? ”

Clearly, I had no clue what he was saying. My boss then corrects me, it is not elevated but elevator pitch.

With a frustrated look on his face he then tried to explain to me what that means and this is how he explained it.

You meet someone in an elevator and you are asked what do you do, by a person who is going to get off the elevator in a few secs, how you respond and get this person’s attention is determined by how good your elevator pitch is. 

My response to my boss, ” Isn’t everyone in the elevator on their phones? Sometimes even when there is no signal!”

So, I am not sure what these elevator pitches do? But what I do know is when I bump in to someone and I am asked what do you do there is a better way to answer the question in the form of a Story.

This is how someone I taught recently answered What do you do?

Shashank works for a leading agency, he is at a networking event and he is asked, What do you do by Maria.

Rather than saying, I work for a leading creative agency. Shashank asks Maria, ” Which industry do you work in Maria, I will be able to answer your question better if you told me that.” Maria says, ” I am banker” .

This is what Shashank says next

Let me answer your question using an example of what we have done for another bank,

” A few months ago we were asked by a foreign bank in Singapore to look in to why despite having the best products and  service, the bank was not successful in Singapore?

We gathered the relevant information and spoke to consumers in an attempt to discover what was going on?

What we found was fascinating , the problem had nothing to do with products and services. The problem was, the brand perception. The bank was headquartered in a country that was not necessarily the preferred association in a local context.

You know we have these origin perceptions like Indian food is hot, German cars are reliable and a bank from X country may not be very good.

Our efforts were then focused on changing the brand perception via an creative campaign based on insights. The campaign was successful 

Now that is what I do.” 

Some of you may think at this stage, this is going to take too long. Well, I timed myself saying this and it took me 45 secs. versus 5 secs of,  I work for a Creative Agency.

What I want you to think is –

1) In an effort to keep it short in 5 secs are you wasting an amazing opportunity to do great work?

2) If someone is only willing to you give you 5 secs. Do you really want to talk to them?

Anyway, who said that the elevator pitches can only be certain no of secs? The focus is on the wrong thing here – ticking time ,not getting the message across.

Anyone can learn how to do this effectively by learning tips and techniques on Sales Storytelling

Share this article:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Why the QR Code? The answer is in the request below we received from a regular blog reader.

"I attended your story telling course some time back. And I've enjoyed keeping up my knowledge with your blog. You may not have realised however, that the Whole of Government is implementing Internet Seperation. Hence I'm not able to access the links to read your articles. Could I suggest including a QR code in your emails so that I can use my mobile to scan it and gain immediate access to the article? It would be most helpful"