Is the Elevator Pitch Dead?

The elevator pitch has been the cornerstone of sales for years.  We’re constantly asked and challenged to share what we do or what we sell in a compelling, succinct manner in less than 30 seconds. The amount of time you might have if you met someone in the elevator and had to get their attention before they got to their floor.

The elevator pitch isn’t dead, but it’s certainly morphing. First, and most important, the “pitch” in any form is clearly on it’s last leg. Like all of us, customers, prospects, and clients have information fatigue. We are tired of being talked at. We are constantly bombarded with messages, succinct or not. To survive we are tuning out. To get through to people today requires engagement. Pitching is a one way dialog; engagement is bilateral.

We’re not just tuning out online, we are tuning out in person. I find myself having trouble listening to an elevator pitch if the person hasn’t engaged me yet. Like everyone else, I’m tired of the noise.

Does it mean we need to stop honing our elevator pitches.  No, it’s still critical to be able to convey what it is you sell, its USP (unique selling proposition) quickly and with intrigue. But now it’s has important to engage with people to get your story across.

iMeet the video meeting company and Sales 2.0 believe the Elevator Pitch is still strong and critical. Therefore, they are having a contest to see who has the best. They are looking for sales folks to submit a video of themselves giving their best elevator pitch. The winner get’s 10 free iMeet rooms for 1 year and an iPad 2. I’m curious to see the submissions.  I’m also curious to see if folks can deliver on video. Video is a tough mediam for this. There is no body language or subtle clues to leverage. It’s just you and the camera.

My bet is the winner will be compelling, engaging and intriguing. They will deliver more than a message. That’s what it takes today. The message can no longer stand on it’s own. We’re all too busy trying to block it out.

Go on now, you’ve got  video to do.

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