Death of The Elevator Pitch

Sales has gotten a bad wrap over the years. People generally don’t like being “sold” and even the word “sales” sometimes is synonymous with a four-letter word!

Everyone’s been on both sides of the table, you’ve pitched and been pitched too! So what’s pitching??

Let me give you the scenario… You’re meeting your client for the first time, you introduce yourself and then you begin the “pitch”. You begin by telling them why you’re so great and what your company can do for them, how you know what’s best for them, why you deliver the best services and have won all these awards, etc. etc.

This is a typical scenario amongst sales people. They feel this necessity to pitch their product and talk as much as possible until the buyer says either “yes” or “I’m not interested”, and then the sales person walks away, either with a sale, or if not, confused and wondering why the client wasn’t interested… That is pithing and pitching is not truly effective.

The reason for this is that you are trying to say as many things as possible, and are hoping that you hit on something that the buyer wants and takes an interest in… Even then…you probably didn’t truly recognize what the actually thing was that interested the client.

So here’s what you do instead:

You must first “build agreement” on what the problem is for your client by asking your client what problem is, then build agreement around that and make the problem more real! For example, “What would happen if this problem doesn’t get fixed?” and “To what degree is this an issue for you?” These types of questions will give you a very good understanding on what the problem is and how urgent it is for them.

Problems motivate people…think about it…you don’t go out and buy a new refrigerator until you have a problem…then you go to Best Buy, you walk in and then BOOM!…you get pitched by the sales person! He starts talking about everything unrelated to your issue…telling you about their cell phone specials, discounts on unrelated items, etc. We’ve all been to the mall, walk into stores and they start pitching you on items that you don’t care about. It’s annoying!

If the sales person asked you about your problem, then spent some time building agreement with you on your problem, really trying to understand how it’s affecting you…the sales cycle would be a lot easier.

Let’s be honest, we ALL want and are craving to be understood!

I get sales people all the time that make appointments with me and come in to try to sell their services or product. I can count on one hand the amount of times anyone started out the conversation with asking me, “So what problem do you have that you are trying to fix?” The only reason I’m going to buy their product or service is because it helps “me” fix a problem.

“The Key to getting a sale, is getting into Agreement with your client on the problem”.

I love sales!


Vick Tipnes, CEO Blackstone Medical Services

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