How to Write a Winning Elevator Pitch (+Real-World Examples)

Don't let the elusive elevator pitch intimidate you any longer. Learn how to write a winning elevator pitch to use with confidence and earn new business.

5 min read

How to Write a Winning Elevator Pitch (+Real-World Examples)

Picture the scene: you’re at a conference and you need to go back to your room to grab something. You walk over to the elevator and push the button. The doors slide open and you walk in. 

There’s one other person in there, and it just so happens to be the CEO of your biggest prospect. You could talk about the weather, but really, you want to talk about your business. But what should you say? 

You have less than a minute, and you need to make a lasting impression. The key?  

A concise but compelling elevator pitch. 

Crafting the perfect pitch can be a daunting task, but fear not. Let’s explore the process of crafting a well-written, impactful elevator pitch that will help you unlock new opportunities and deliver sales growth for your business.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch is a short but meaningful summary of who you are, what your business sells, and why it matters to your audience. 

Elevator pitches have other applications too. Startup founders use them to build relationships with investors. Job seekers use them to connect with hiring managers. Sales professionals use them all the time: at conferences, trade shows, networking events, and more. 

An elevator pitch should be short enough to be delivered over the course of an elevator ride, hence the name. It’s a vital piece of sales collateral that can be made shorter or longer as the situation demands, and should always be tailored to your audience. 

How to Write an Elevator Pitch

Distilling the essence of your business down into an elevator pitch is a challenge, but it’s an extremely valuable exercise. The end product of this writing process isn’t just a scripted pitch you can use in sales prospecting. It’s also an entirely new way of thinking about your business: explaining what you do and why it matters in the purest form. 

You’ll want to involve various people in this process. Brainstorm this together with your sales team: everyone will have different perspectives and ideas about what sets your business apart. 

Organize your ideas using the structure below. For each section, we’ve included a sample script for SmartSite, an imaginary company selling project management software. 

1. A Brief Introduction

An elevator pitch should start with a short introduction. This provides your audience with some context before you launch into the main part of your pitch. Keep this very short: your name, position, and business are all you need.

Example Elevator Pitch Introduction:

Hi, I’m John Smith and I lead Sales at SmartSite.

2. The Big Idea

Explain exactly what your business does. Assume your audience has never heard of your business before. Break things down into basic terms, avoiding jargon and technical language.

It’s often helpful to include your company’s mission statement and to outline the core features of your product or service.

Example Big Idea Summary for an Elevator Pitch:

SmartSite is a project management software platform that helps development teams work together on complex projects.

3. The Hook

An elevator pitch must grab your audience’s attention with a memorable hook. Exactly what this hook is depends on your business: it could be a statistic, a question, or a solution to a problem you know your audience has. 

Your goal is to make your audience give you 100% of their attention. A hook has to be disruptive, new information that your audience hasn’t heard before. It’s the only way to capture their attention and make sure they listen closely.

Example Elevator Pitch Hooks:

  1. Did you know SmartSite users save an average of 5 hours per week?
  2. Does your team waste time managing projects in Excel?
  3. SmartSite can increase your team’s productivity by 10%.

4. Value Proposition

Now that you’ve explained what your business does, you need to show your audience why it matters. Your business’s value proposition is what makes it attractive to your potential customers. In practice, this is a short statement of your business’s most impactful benefits.

As you consider the various benefits that your business’s products and services offer your customers, a helpful test is the “so what?” test.

Every time you jot down a value proposition, ask yourself “so what?” Include only the benefits that have a meaningful impact on your audience, leaving out those that are less relevant. 

Example Elevator Pitch Value Proposition:

Teams that use SmartSite spend more time working on projects, and less time managing tasks. Our powerful software helps your business complete projects on time, on budget, and according to project specifications.

5. Easy Next Steps

The goal of an elevator pitch isn’t to close the sale: it’s to start a new relationship. Your audience won’t be ready to buy after your 30 or 60 second pitch, but hopefully, they’ll be interested to learn more about your business’s solutions. 

Provide your audience with an easy next step that removes any barriers to growing the relationship. What this looks like will depend on the situation: in a sales email, you might invite your prospect to book a 30 minute demo, whereas at a trade show, you might invite your prospect to exchange business cards

Example Next Steps for an Elevator Pitch:

If you’re interested in learning more about SmartSite, I’d love to set up a time to show you how the platform works. Do you have a spare 30 minutes next week?

Easy to Use Elevator Pitch Templates

Once you’ve nailed down the key components of your elevator pitch, don’t be afraid to experiment. You should be able to adapt your elevator pitch to individual situations: in some instances, you might have two minutes, but in others, you only have 30 seconds. 

Having your elevator pitch laid out in a range of different formats helps to clarify this. Below, you’ll find three sample elevator pitch templates for SmartSite, each of different lengths. 

Short Elevator Pitch Example:

If you’re interested in learning more about SmartSite, I’d love to set up a time to show you how the platform works. Do you have a spare 30 minutes next week?

Mid-Length Elevator Pitch Example:

"Hi, I’m John Smith, Sales Lead at SmartSite: a popular project management software used by companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft. On average, companies that use SmartSite report a 10% jump in productivity.

When teams use SmartSite, they spend less time managing work, and more time doing it. Our users tell us they love the easy communication and enhanced visibility SmartSite offers them. I think it would be a great fit for your business – can I send you some more information via email?

Full-Length Elevator Pitch Example:

"Hi, I’m John Smith, and I’m the VP of Sales at SmartSite. At SmartSite, we make project management software that helps teams get their work done on time and on budget. Our software is designed for large organizations and is currently used by companies including Apple, Microsoft, and Google.

If your team wastes time managing projects through email and spreadsheets, you’ll love SmartSite. The average SmartSite user saves five hours a week and companies report a 10% boost in productivity.

Our software isn’t just easy to use – it’s also incredibly powerful. SmartSite’s project management features promote increased accountability, help teams communicate better, and ensure that teams have everything they need to accomplish their projects.

I’d love to set up a demo to walk you through how SmartSite would work for your business. How is your availability next week?

An Integrated Future: Aligning Sales & Marketing

An elevator pitch might seem like a sales tool, but the reality is that it’s central to your marketing strategy, clarifying exactly what your brand stands for. By embracing an integrated approach to marketing and sales, businesses can unlock their potential and ignite growth. 

At GoDelta, we’re building the future of integrated marketing. Our team activates and accelerates top brands, lending expertise in every element of your growth strategy, from branded products to digital marketing

If you need strategic guidance creating memorable strategies that bring your brand to life, connect with us today. 

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