Tips for Your Elevator Pitch: Close Before the Doors Open

by HBR Blog Network

An elevator pitch is a high-pressure sales opportunity, but many salespeople struggle to get it right. Learn the six most common mistakes, and six ways to help you close before the doors open.

Steve W. Martin, author and sales strategy teacher at the USC Marshall School of Business, lists the six most common mistakes that salespeople make during an elevator pitch.

In a post at the HBR Blog Network, Martin says that the elevator pitch most often fails because salespeople use truisms, buzzwords, and small talk, and try to close in an unreasonable, incongruent fashion. To help sharpen your elevator pitch, Martin also presents six “linguistic structures” that help salespeople during the decision-making process. Softeners, facts, metaphors, suggestions, a fallback position, and even silence are all part of a successful linguistic technique.

“Your words are your most important competitive weapons,” Martin says, and “a sales call can happen anywhere and at any time.” Be prepared and always incorporate an effective linguistic strategy.