Sales Training Must Include Effective “Elevator Pitch”

Perfecting Elevator Pitch

A recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine described the importance of “elevator pitches,” a concise statement of what someone does for a living that can ideally be fully conveyed during an elevator ride.

The author of the article, Barbara Findlay Schenck, uses an interaction she had with a social media entrepreneur to highlight how to create such a pitch.

According to Schenck, Brad Newman described himself to her as an “actrepreneur”, as he was an actor and an entrepreneur who ran a social media company. While Schenck was impressed with this term, Barrett Riddleberger, the CEO of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm, cautioned that such words can be off-putting, pointing out that, “Cute doesn’t sell in many companies today. Results sell.”

In addition, Riddleberger said that coming up with such phrases may have the opposite effect on a potential new business relation.

“[Creating such words] can imply you spent more time coming up with a fancy word than actually creating solutions for companies,” he said.

According to Riddleberger, “any good sales rep needs to have a quick, cogent way to communicate what they do.” One can tell if they have some work to do on his or her elevator pitch if it needs to be explained.

Another thing to keep in mind that is similar to Riddleberger’s advice of not getting “too cute” is to avoid industry buzzwords that need to be explained. The CEO says that a confused customer is not likely to buy one’s product.

In her article, Schenck suggests that one continually practice his or her quick pitches to make sure they are flawless. Riddleberger said he agrees with this advice and that a good way to perfect a pitch is to try it out on friends, family, co-workers and long-time customers who can provide feedback.

Riddleberger also says that evaluating and modifying one’s sales pitch after it is used is important. As is the case with virtually everything in the sales industry, being able to hone and perfect one’s technique is valuable and one of the best ways to do this is through sales training.

“Sales training is an excellent way to aid in the development of a good elevator pitch,” said Riddleberger.

In addition, sales coaching can help salespeople develop and maintain quality elevator pitches as the business environment changes.