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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.