A- A+

Top Five for Small Business: Crafting Your Elevator Pitch

Elevator Pitch Top Five

November 2, 2020

Whatever you do, don’t memorize your elevator pitch.

Prepare? Yes. Practice? Yes. But memorize? Never.

This might seem counter-intuitive, even sacrilege in some sales circles. But I assure you, as a former national award-winning journalist who’s worked in radio, television and live events, it’s never about delivering the “perfect” pitch exactly the same way each time.

It’s always about your story — and your passion for telling it.

The truth is, the majority of sales is storytelling, which is why I always walk marketing clients through an elevator pitch and storytelling framework as we develop their marketing strategy.

3 Questions to Ask to Help Tell Your Story

I ask clients three key questions that can reveal unique elements of their story — and can also help you concisely share what you do and why.

I recommend this elevator recipe, which is flexible enough to adapt to your specific services and focuses. In fact, I recommend tailoring your pitch to the specifics of your situation — including the client or prospect you are talking with.

  • What problem do you solve?
  • Who do you guide?
  • What is your solution?

It isn’t always straightforward. Take a company that builds beautiful, hand-crafted tables as an example.

Is their customer’s problem not having a place to set their dinner?

Or do the dimensions of their dining room and the size of their family require a custom-built centerpiece, a table that becomes woven into their family’s legacy thanks to the memories made?

What if your company employs at-risk young adults and teaches them a skill, offering them a fresh chance in life? The problem starts to shift — it’s their lack of opportunity for youth — and so does the marketing story.

The truth is, all three problems tell a story. All three problems could be woven into your elevator pitch.

But are you telling the right story for you?

See the entire webinar on crafting your story below:


Seeking more resources? Sign up for Mackenzie’s Marketing Minute email to gain insight on marketing and communication in a monthly email designed for busy business leaders at mryanmedia.co/marketing-minute.

For more information on the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Top Five series, visit the Business Resources page. While there, be sure to register for the next Top Five series.

Mackenzie Walters

Mackenzie Walters is the owner and chief strategist of StoryStruck Marketing, an agency in West Des Moines that uses journalism techniques - including customer interviews - to craft marketing strategy. They primarily work with professional service and product-based businesses.