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Hi there, you’ve landed on Connect & Convert, the podcast where we share insider secrets for small business sales success. I’m Dennis Collins, your resident sales training expert. I’ve been successfully training salespeople and sales manager for over four decades, and my specialty is working with small business owners.

What are we going to talk about today? One of the key challenges that I face when I was managing salespeople, and clearly as I train and coach salespeople, is how do we establish our value without making it sound like a sales pitch?

I’m just thinking right now of several groups of sales people that I coach right now. I want to tell you something, they’re wicked smart with product knowledge. You cannot fake them out. You cannot ask them a question they don’t understand that they can’t explain. They got that. They know the technical aspects of value.

But here’s the problem. It sounds like a sales pitch.

So how to quickly and effectively convey your value. You’ve heard, I’ve heard, we’ve all heard of elevator pitch, right? I guess I heard that decades ago, and the idea was that you were supposed to memorize something about yourself. Usually it’s about selling yourself that could be delivered quickly and succinctly and effectively in an elevator trip that might last 30, 45 seconds. Okay, so how can we apply that to the sales process?

You may have only 30 to 45 seconds to make your point. I would you do have only 30 to 45 seconds to make your point. So how can we get that done quickly and effectively and yet still convey value in a persuasive and a memorable way.

Again, elevator pitch always in my world was about a personal pitch about ourselves. But today I want to explore how it can be used for your products and services. What is it if you haven’t heard of it? It’s a short promotional speech presented to a specific target audience to communicate the value of your product or service. And obviously to get someone to take action, okay? So let’s talk, let’s break it down.

What are the elements of a great elevator speech? Number one, be brief. An elevator speech by design, by its very nature, must be brief. When I say brief, 75 to 100 words. Maximum 45 seconds. And a lot of people say, I can’t do anything in 45 seconds. Yeah. If you want to get good at elevator speeches, elevator pitches, you’ve got to number two, make it interesting and captivating.

It can’t be off the cuff and I’m not a believer in scripts. I don’t like to use scripts and sales, but here is one case where you do have to script it in advance. You have to work out your elevator speech in advance to get your word count right. To get the right words and to practice it.

So make it interesting and captivating. Make it relevant to the receiver. Think about who are you going to deliver this elevator speech to? Who is that person? Walk a mile in their shoes. What is it that you can tell them that’s relevant to them and interesting to them?

And last but not least, be confident. Not wishy washy, not arrogant. Be confident.

  1. Be brief.
  2. Make it interesting and captivating.
  3. Make it relevant and be confident.

Okay, let’s dive a little deeper.

Let’s design an elevator speech.

Let me give you the framework to design your own elevator speech.

Number one. Start with a captivating hook or attention grabbing statement to pique the listener’s interest. That sounds reasonable. That’s good advice for any communication.

Number two, clearly articulate the problem. So what is the issue? What’s the problem or pain point that your product or service solves?

Number three, and this is the big one. Why is your service or product unique? What is it that you do that no one else does? Highlight the key benefits, the key advantages, the uniqueness of your offering.

Number four, provide some evidence or testimonials. How long have you been doing this? Who says it’s good? Obviously you can’t get deep into testimonials, but give the listener at least some sample of a testimonial.

And number, five end with a call to action. Yes, a call to action. Encourage the listener to your elevator speech to take the next step or to learn more about your offering. Remember, the goal here is to convey value quickly and effectively that will leave a lasting impression on your listener.

Okay, couple tips. How do you make your elevator speech more interesting? By establishing the problem by using a hook. Let me give you some examples. Sometimes you use a thought provoking question. Posing a question piques the listener’s curiosity and their interest. That immediately engages them and they’re more receptive to the message that will follow. Number two, start with a surprising statistic.

Hey, did you know a compelling anecdote can also grab their attention and make your elevator speech more memorable. Let me give you a couple examples. Here would be a good way to start your elevator speech.

Hey, let’s be real here…
Hey, did you know that…
Picture this…
Ever wish you could…
Hey, when was the last time you…
Hey, is it just me…
Do you feel…

Fill in the blanks, a great opening of an elevator speech almost guarantees that they will hear what follows. So in future episodes, we’ll discuss the other elements in more detail.

That was just element one, establishing the problem with a hook. We’ll get into the body, articulating the problem, offering your uniqueness, testimonials and call to action in later episodes. But let me close today with a sample of what the finished product could sound like.

A Sample Finished Product

When I first started my sales consulting business, I discovered a common issue. Companies were spending a lot of money on sales training that wasn’t working. For several decades. I’ve been providing a special kind of training, training-that-sticks training. That’s not only remembered, but is utilized to increase sales by using my unique method of training that helps salespeople build new skills.

Clients have seen major increases in closing ratios and a big boost in total revenue. If you’d like to hear more about how I do this. Let’s set up a call soon. You can find me at and

And you can find me here for the next episode of Connect & Convert.