Elevator pitch: How to create a world-class personal elevator pitch

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Why should you have an elevator pitch? You have probably been asked “Who are you?” or “What do you do for a living?” many times in different contexts. At work, by friends, during dinners, or when picking up your child from preschool. And how often do you end up fumbling for words while watching the interest of the person who asked the question out of politeness gradually fade? This is where an elevator pitch is a real lifesaver.

Your personal elevator pitch is the remedy that makes sure you always know how to answer the question. In this blog post, you will get tips on how to create an interesting and personal elevator pitch for sales contexts. You will also find examples and a template that makes it easy for you to create a unique and inspiring elevator pitch.

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is a short, interesting, and personal presentation of yourself or your idea. Traditionally, it includes answers about who you are, what you do, and what you want.  In terms of time, it is good if it is 30-60 seconds long. If it is longer than that, it will be difficult to keep the interest of the person you are talking to.

The purpose of an elevator pitch (or elevator presentation) is to quickly and concisely generate interest in who you are and what you do. This can be useful in many different contexts – not least when a salesperson is trying to attract the interest of a prospect. You have probably also heard that it is common to put together an elevator pitch to present an idea or market yourself as a job seeker, for example. Whatever the context, the goal is that the person you’re talking to will find what you’ve told them about yourself so interesting that they want to know more.

Therefore, it is important to create a personalized elevator pitch.

If you answer something like “Hi! My name is Anna and I work as a salesperson” when someone asks who you are? Isn’t that a pretty boring answer? – Yes! And what do you think the chances are that the person you are talking to will remember you?

The strength of creating a personal elevator pitch is that you never have to think about who you are, what you do, which companies come to you, or how to start a dialogue with the person who asked you the question. This means that you will always be able to give a short and concise presentation of yourself. So that in the next step, you can turn the spotlight back on the person you are talking to and start a dialog.

The story of how the elevator pitch was born

Somewhere in the 1850s, a person far down the corporate hierarchy wanted to sell a new idea to the company’s CEO. The person repeatedly tried to get a meeting with the CEO to get a chance to pitch his idea. Unfortunately, the person was unsuccessful and needed to think creatively.

Instead of trying to get a formal meeting with the CEO, the person stood outside the company elevator on the ground floor. When the CEO entered the elevator, the person followed. Once inside the elevator, the person took his chance and pitched his idea while the elevator went up to the CEO’s office.

The CEO liked the idea so much that he asked the person to come and present his idea to the entire management team. The person had succeeded and the elevator pitch became a concept that has lived on ever since.

Template to create your personal elevator pitch

As mentioned earlier, there are a few things you should always include in your elevator pitch – who you are, what you do, and what you want. In a sales context, it’s best to break your pitch down into five parts. The different parts cover the above but are structured in a way that allows the conversation to take off. For example, we have moved away from the traditional approach but optimized the end of the elevator pitch, which opens up further discussion.

To create your personalized elevator pitch, you need to answer and consider the following:

  1. Who are you?
  2. Where do you work and what do you do?
  3. Which companies do you help?
  4. What makes your company unique?
  5. An inviting question to encourage dialog.

Step 1: The answer to the question “Who are you?”

The aim is to arouse the interest of the person you are talking to and to tell them who you are. Of course, you want to open in an interesting but also strong way. Here you need to highlight what best describes you in a fun way. Are you perhaps a determined time optimist, or a naive bundle of joy? Start by describing yourself in a similar way.

Then add one of your personal interests. Do you like to read? Say something like “I’m a bookworm…”. Do you have a nerdy interest in sales? Try “I’m a negotiation nerd…”.

Suggestions for characteristics:

  • Committed
  • Passionate
  • Curious
  • Empathetic
  • High integrity
  • Cheerful

Suggested interests:

  • Exercise
  • Fishing
  • Sports
  • Painting/drawing/writing
  • Hanging out with friends

By describing yourself and your interests in a different way. You increase the chance that the person you are talking to will also remember you.

Step 2: Where do you work and what do you do?

Tell us briefly about the company you work for and what drives you to do a good job. Maybe you are driven by seeing other people grow in their roles. Or are you most excited about saving money for your customers? Whatever your favorite part of your job, this is the perfect opportunity to highlight it.

Step 3: Which companies do you help?

To give the person a sense of who your customers are, tell them which customers come to you. Have they driven start-up founders wearing too many different hats? Maybe big companies with lots of data come to you? Tell us who the typical customers are that come to you and what challenges they face.

Step 4: What makes your company unique?

You finish the elevator pitch by telling us what your company does differently from the rest of the market. Do you have a specialist skill set that is different? Do you work with shorter delivery times? Or perhaps you have a revolutionary product that enables what your peers can’t?

Step 5: Ask an inviting question and create a dialog

Don’t forget to ask the person who asked you who you are. If you haven’t already asked the same question, you can do so. Otherwise, it is a good opportunity to steer the conversation in a different direction. In a work context, you can ask about the person’s goals for the year or how they work in a specific area. Feel free to ask questions about the area you work in.

Example of 3 good elevator pitches according to our template

Here are three examples of elevator pitches based on our template. Feel free to use these as inspiration when putting together your own elevator pitch.

First example

“My name is Mathias Härenstam and I am a performance-oriented, and coaching trainer with a “Norrland heart”. What I am most passionate about is maximizing everything that can be maximized.

I am a co-founder and CRO at Salesonomics. We help companies who want to optimize their sales to find and customize a smart solution that makes it easier for them to reach their goals.

What are your most important ambitions related to your sales?”

Second example

“My name is Stephanie and I am a social salsa dancing match-maker from Gävle. My favorite thing is being able to create value between customers and candidates so that they can succeed and be happy at the same time.

I work at Salesonomics and to us come business leaders and companies that want to optimize their growth. Where we enable the smartest solution for every opportunity.

So tell us, what are your most important goals for the coming years?”

Third example

“Hi! My name is Simon and I’m an analytical doer who loves to do heavy lifting (both at the gym and at work). Today I work with marketing at Salesonomics and am passionate about finding new ways to be “top of mind” in the sales industry.

To Salesonomics come ambitious companies that want to accelerate and optimize their sales. We want to be their “one-stop shop” in sales development by helping them find a customized and smart solution based on their own conditions.

What is your main focus on the sales side?”

Take your elevator pitch and sales team to new levels with Salesonomics

At Salesonomics, we have extensive experience in training customer-facing people to do even better so that the company can continue to grow. By tailoring sales training to your specific needs, we will be able to take your sales team to the next level. Contact us today to book your salespeople for sales training or to talk more about the Sales Acceleration Program.

Picture of Simon Blanche

Simon Blanche