The Elevator Pitch is dead!

Not so very long ago, one of the most important activities for any business owner was to have their “elevator pitch” memorized and well-practiced.  Armed with your well-rehearsed 30 second or 60 second sales pitch, you could engage anyone at a networking group, walking down the hall  or yes, even riding up the elevator.

In fact, many business owners still rely on their elevator pitch as a way to gain attention and open a potential sales opportunity.  But according to Daniel Pink, it is no longer enough.  And I agree with him!

In today’s crazy busy world, business owners need to have multiple ways to make their “pitch”.  In Daniel Pink’s new book, To Sell is Human, he outlines six (6) specific different types of sales pitches that we need to use to share our message and get the attention we are seeking.

Chapter 7 of his book is dedicated to the art of “pitching”.  It is definitely worth a read.  But to give you a jump start, I’ll summarize his 6 pitch types and get you thinking about how you can incorporate them into your business.

Subject Line Pitch – If you’re getting your sales message out by e-mail or letter (in written form), you’ve got to master the art of writing great subject lines.  Subject lines that get the most attention fall into one of two categories.  They are either utility-based (talking about what you will get from reading the copy) or curiosity-based (creating a desire to open or read further to know what it is all about).

Question Pitch – If you have a compelling product or service, then stating a question is an effective way to grab the attention of your prospects.  This type of pitch is designed to create either desire or frustration with the promise that your product or service can help them answer the question they way they wish they could.

Rhyming Pitch – A great way to “stick” in the minds of your audience is to put your pitch into a rhyme.  It is catchy, easily remembered and often can become a short-hand for the value you offer to your customers.

Twitter Pitch – With social media as a major platform for sharing our business message, we must be able to state our “so what” in 140 characters or less.  This requires us to be focused, direct and pithy.  In fact, better than 140 characters is to keep our twitter pitch to less than 120 characters – leaving room for those who see it and like it to re-tweet it!

One Word Pitch – The poser of our message can get stronger if we can be so specific that we can use a single word to describe our business, product or service.  This is a difficult one, but a powerful method of communicating.  Start with a longer pitch, then continue to shrink it down until you get to the one, powerful word that defines who you are, what you do or what you provide.

Pixar Pitch – Like a hollywood movie, our pitch can be very powerful if it tells a story.  The Pixar pitch follows the standard format for many successful movies.  It is a 6-step story that goes like this:

  • Once upon a time….
  • Everyday…..
  • Then one day….
  • Because of that….
  • Because of that….
  • Until finally….

Using this structure and format, you can bring your audience into a story line that they will be emotionally  connected to and remember more than a simple statement.

No matter where you start, it is important to use all six different types of pitches to make your sales pitch.

And in every pitch you make, you need to be thinking about:

  • What my target audience Needs to Know,
  • How do I want my audience to Feel, and
  • What do I want my audience to Do.

Be sure to get and read the book – To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink.  It will open your eyes to what works and why many things we have done in the past do not.

If you need specific help or want to share a thought, leave me a reply.  I’d love to hear from you.

Ride  Hard,


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