Business tips

How to write an elevator pitch for your business (with examples and a template)

When you last met someone at a networking event, how easily did you communicate what it is you do? Were you a smooth talker, charming them with your offering, or were you more a bumbling mess, trying to make it up on the fly?

As a business owner, it’s vital you nail a succinct and consistent elevator pitch, so you become known for the one thing you do best in your business.

When someone has a particular problem – you want them to think of how you solve it.

So you can win the business, each and every time.

So how can you make this happen?

Tip 1 – Customers don’t have time

While you might want to share a lengthy life story, customers don’t have time to listen.

This is why you need to invite them into the story at the point where they are the hero – at the point where you guide them and help them solve the uncomfortable problem they have.

This is where the elevator pitch for your business comes in.

If website visitors are landing on your website and don’t know what it is you do, and the problems you solve, within 10 seconds, it’s time to re-write your website.

elevator pitch for your business

Tip 2 – The two things an elevator pitch for your business needs to do

Remember, the best-selling products aren’t necessarily the best products.

They are the products that communicate their message the clearest.

So your elevator pitch needs to clearly communicate how your company can give your customer the transformation they seek.

Otherwise, how are they to know what’s in it for them?

Secondly, your key message must be consistent. The key solution you provide should become what your company is known for. The message needs to be easily repeatable, on your website, in your brochures, when you talk to people…

Tip 3 – You need to demonstrate the transformation you give

As a business that solves problems, you most likely deliver one of the following transformations: 

  • You save people money.
  • You make people money.
  • You save people time.
  • You increase status.
  • You connect people with others.

For example, an electrician might save people money by installing solar panels and LED lighting.

A bookkeeper would save its clients time by doing their books and filing their BAS each quarter.

A business like ours helps clients make more money by writing their elevator pitches in a clearer way(!)

If you own an upholstery company, perhaps you help your customers increase their status by providing them with fancy furnishings.

And if you run a networking group then you’d be a master connector!

If your company provides multiple transformations (and many do), it pays to focus on the highest priority want or need.

elevator pitch for your business

Tip 4 – Treat your customers’ problems like a villain

This tip is gleaned from the Story Brand method by Donald Millar.

You need to clearly identify the problem (villain) your customer is facing when you pitch to them.

As humans, we’re more interested in ourselves above all else. So don’t talk about you – talk about them.

The more we talk about the problem the customer has, the more opportunities we have to connect.

Millar identifies three main villains – an external, internal and philosophical villain.

External villains: Are often a physical problem such as not feeling well, being time poor, feeling hungry, etc.

Philosophical problems: These are mindset issues, such as questioning why good copywriting even matters.

Internal problems: Emotion and feelings associated with the problem, such as self-doubt, lack of confidence, frustration, etc.

The best villain to focus on is the internal problem, because you can truly make deep connections if you tap into how the customer is feeling.

Tesla’s villain

Tesla is a company with a clear villain – a gas guzzling vehicle, with inferior technology.

While the customer has an external problem of needing a car when they come Tesla shopping, their internal problem is that they want to be an early adopter of new tech and look cool.

While their philosophical problem could be the mindset of needing a new car that won’t impact the planet, it’s their inner desire to adopt new tech and look cool that’ll persuade them to choose Tesla over other electrical vehicle manufacturers.

elevator pitch for your business

Tip 5 – Consider what’s at stake

Towards the end of your elevator pitch, you need to clearly outline what’s at stake. What will happen if the customer chooses not to work with you?

We need to identify what’s at stake so the customer is encouraged to make the leap into working with you.

This means we need to show them what will happen if they don’t take action (what failure will look like, and what potential future problems could arise.)

We also need to show them what will happen if they take action – focusing on the transformation they’ll receive.

McDonald’s elevator pitch

Pulling all the above knowledge together, an example of an elevator pitch from the fast food chain McDonald’s could be:

When a hungry, time-poor customer wants their meal, McDonald’s helps them by making it quick and easy to order. To avoid frustration, we reduce wait times by providing self-service computers that empower you to get your meal faster.

Want to format the elevator pitch for your business so it can get winning results?

Download the free template here, and fill in the blanks.

Once you’ve written it, feel free to share your elevator pitch below for feedback.