I was at a networking meeting the other evening where the speaker was marketing consultant Helen Buteux from the Conde Group. Helen gave us some really useful marketing tips and then lead a short exercise to get us to look at out 15 second elevator pitch.

Imagine the scenario, you are in the lift of a major potential clients HQ. The lift doors open and the CEO walks in, takes on look at you and says, OK, you have 15 seconds to convince me that I should give you ten minutes of my time! What do you say!

The first pass approach from most people went something like, “Hi, my name is ABC and I’m a coach/florist/conference organiser….”

Is this really going to cut it? Have you given the prospect a good enough reason to think that they can’t afford to take the risk of not speaking to you? Have you grabbed their attention, talked about a benefit or made a claim? I don’t think so!

So we got together around our table and brainstormed several alternative opening statements.
From my florist friend, we came up with “Hi, I am in the divorce prevention business!”

For the parent coach we came up with “I’ve figured out how to get your teenagers to talk to you!”

For me we came up with “Did you know that your salespeople have only have 15 seconds to make a positive first impression – if they don’t think they know what to say or how to say it you need to talk to me now!”

Had we had more time I know we could have done even better but hopefully these ideas will get you started. So dust off your old tired elevator pitch and get to work on it then send me the results.
PS: I am offering a mystery prize for the one I like best one . Entries must be sent as a comment on this blog and should arrive before the end of January 2009


  1. Mary Jo on 13/01/2009 at 19:45

    If anyone introduced themselves to me with these lines, I’d be running away from them as far and fast as I could.

    I’ve come to believe that this elevator pitches are appropriate for networking events, but are a complete turn off outside of those events. I would never do business with someone who introduced themselves that way in my elevator.

    • Gavin on 13/01/2009 at 22:32

      Thanks for the feedback Mary Jo. As you mentioned these pitches do work best in a networking situation and they don’t work for everybody. Another factor is the way that they are used. The tone of voice, facial expression and body language have a huge impact on how these type of words come across.

      Keep the comments coming!

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