"The best elevator pitch doesn't pitch your product. It pitches the end result your product achieves."

- Peter Thiel

We've all experienced that sweaty-palmed moment of facing a potential investor or key customer and having just seconds to explain our product or business compellingly. Talk about pressure!

Crafting the perfect elevator pitch is an essential skill for any entrepreneur or business owner. Whether you're at a networking event, conference, or even just bumping into someone important in an elevator, being able to communicate what you do and why it matters concisely can make or break you.

In this post, I'll draw from my decade of experience running a successful SaaS marketing agency and share my proven tips for creating an elevator pitch that sells. You'll learn:

  • How to immediately grab attention with a powerful opening hook
  • A formula for succinctly explaining your central value proposition
  • Critical mistakes that make pitches flat or confusing (and how to avoid them)
  • The one element that determines if your pitch persuades or falls flat

Equipped with these tactics, you'll be ready to compellingly articulate your business anytime, anywhere—whether in 30 seconds or 3 minutes. Let's get started!

Define your target audience.

When you're thinking about your audience, it's essential to identify what their needs are. You should be able to write out a list of characteristics your target customer has and also describe the problems your product solves for them.

Define your product and the problem it solves.

The first thing you need to do when creating your elevator pitch is to identify what the product is from a customer's perspective. How does it work, and more importantly, what problem does it solve? What does it do? Who is it for specifically? And why should they care about using it? This is not just a reiteration of your business plan; in this instance, you want to focus on the benefits of your product or service rather than its technical details.

For example, let's say you're selling a revolutionary web3-based social media platform that allows businesses to connect with their customers in real time. Instead of talking about how great the blockchain technology behind this platform is (boring), focus on what's in it for them: how will they benefit from connecting with their customers or clients on this new platform? How will their lives be easier as a result (maybe they'll have better customer feedback or an increase in sales)? Or perhaps your product helps make someone's job easier. For example: "Are you frustrated by handling invoice payments manually? Our invoicing software takes care of all those little but annoying tasks, so you don't have to."

Strategies for Delivering a Strong Elevator Pitch

Add a benefit statement, if necessary.

You can add a benefit statement to your elevator pitch if you have time. A benefit statement is another sentence that goes into the WHY of your pitching. For example, if you were pitching an app for designing weekend outfits, your benefit statement could be: "This app helps save time because it will automatically generate and suggest outfits based on the weather and user preferences."

A benefit statement is not always necessary. The key is determining whether adding one enhances your understanding of your product. If so, great! If not, don't force it—your audience will likely focus more on the features and attributes anyway.

Explain why you're unique.

Is your business different from the competition? Of course, it is, and this step is where you must explain just how. Whether your product or service is unique, your process is proprietary, you have a secret advantage over other businesses in this space, or you're the only company offering something at all—you need to tell your audience why they should choose your business over others.

If all of the above is true (or even if none of them are true), don't be afraid to be honest. One of the best ways to gain a customer's trust is by being transparent and authentic. You can still communicate that you offer some kind of advantage over competitors without making false claims or promising things that will never happen.

Here are some examples:

"We streamline the budgeting process with an easy-to-use interface."

"Our team has been in this field for more than 50 years combined, and we do more work than anyone else on [topic] for [time period]."

"We offer free shipping when you buy three items or more through our site—so you save no matter what!"

Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Crafting an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch will help you explain what your product is and why someone would want to buy it.

An elevator pitch is a short description of your business. It helps explain to other people what your product or service is and why they would want to buy it. You can use an elevator pitch to introduce yourself, your company, and the products or services it sells.

You might give a brief elevator pitch at a cocktail party or networking event. If someone expresses interest in learning more about your business, you can expand on your elevator pitch by giving them more details about your product and how their needs would be met.

Elevator pitches are usually concise—about 30 seconds long—because they are intended to be given verbally in informal situations where time may be limited.


What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is a concise, well-crafted message that summarizes your product, service, or business idea clearly and compellingly. It is called an "elevator pitch" because it should be short enough to deliver during a brief elevator ride (about 30 seconds to 2 minutes). An elevator pitch aims to capture the listener's attention and generate interest in your product, service, or business idea.

Why is it crucial to have an elevator pitch for my product?

An elevator pitch for your product is crucial because it helps you communicate your message effectively and quickly to potential customers, investors, or partners. It allows you to make a great first impression, generate interest in your product, and build relationships with your audience.

How long should my elevator pitch be?

Your elevator pitch should be concise and to the point, typically between 30 seconds to 2 minutes in length. The exact length will depend on the situation and audience, but keeping it short and sweet while conveying the most essential information about your product is vital.

Who is my target audience for my elevator pitch?

Your target audience for your elevator pitch will depend on the nature of your product, service, or business idea. It could be potential customers, investors, partners, or even employees. It's important to tailor your elevator pitch to your specific audience to make it more relevant and engaging.

What should be included in my elevator pitch?

Your elevator pitch should include a brief introduction, a clear and concise explanation of what your product or service does, the benefits it offers, and a call to action. It should highlight what sets your product apart from the competition and provide critical metrics or success stories, if available.

How can I make my elevator pitch stand out?

You must be unique, memorable, and authentic to make your elevator pitch stand out. You should focus on what makes your product or service different from the competition and highlight the benefits and outcomes that your audience cares about. Use storytelling and emotional appeals to connect with your audience, and practice your delivery to ensure that your pitch is engaging and impactful.

How can I practice and refine my elevator pitch?

Practicing and refining your elevator pitch is critical to delivering it with confidence and clarity. Start by writing it down and then rehearsing it out loud, trying different variations and tweaking it as needed. Get feedback from others, and record yourself to listen back and improve your delivery. Finally, test your pitch on a live audience and make adjustments based on their reactions.

Can I use the same elevator pitch for different audiences?

While you can use the same basic structure for your elevator pitch across different audiences, tailoring the content and delivery to each specific group is important. Adjust your pitch based on the context, needs, and interests of the audience you are addressing.

How can I tailor my elevator pitch for different situations?

To tailor your elevator pitch for different situations, you should consider the context, audience, and purpose of the pitch. For example, if you're pitching to investors, you might want to focus on the potential return on investment and the scalability of your product. If you pitch to customers, you might emphasize the benefits and outcomes they can expect from using your product.

How do I know if my elevator pitch is effective?

You can determine if your elevator pitch is effective by monitoring the reactions and responses of your audience. If they seem engaged and interested, ask them follow-up questions to gauge their understanding of your product or service. You can also track the outcomes of your pitches, such as the number of leads or sales generated, to assess the effectiveness of your pitch over time. Finally, get feedback from others, such as colleagues or mentors, to get a different perspective and identify areas for improvement.