Elevator pitch does not work

history of tallest buildings

There is immense pressure to explain ideas quickly and simply. Quickly means as much as it takes an elevator to travel few floors. Expression “elevator pitch” defines this expectation. Assumption is that value offered by a brand can be explained within such extreme short periods.

This is incorrect.

All products and brands require a learning curve. They seem familiar and easy only because we learned about them previously and we were very motivated to do so.

Customers need to be exposed to different types of content before they make the decision to purchase. First interactions with the brand usually motivates the customer to eventually allow the brand to access a problem and provide value. It is highly unlikely that a brand can immediately access the problem.

Elevator pitch assumes that information transfer can be quick. This is only possible if a lot of information was built up already on both sides. Both parties already know a lot on the subject, including each other, and in this case the elevator pitch is a one of many steps in the process.

Elevator pitch is similar to advertising. Advertising has mostly evolved into triggering “basic” emotions and motivating the customer to proceed up the brand’s learning curve, but it hardly ever makes the complete pitch.

My advice is to avoid elevator pitches and design the marketing & sales strategy so it requires more time. Focus on motivating customers to give you that time. Shortening time and increasing intensity will not work. If a customer says they do not understand your elevator pitch, they are only saying they have not been motivated to proceed.

Opposite of the elevator pitch are established marketing & sales strategies based on content, lead nurturing, multiple interactions, more time for communication, and a learning curve.

Written by: Nikola Tosic
Publishing date: 22 Oct 2016