5 Sales rep elevator pitches that work

Working as a sales rep is a competitive field to be in. Even if you sell a unique product, you might still need to compete with other sales representatives for your commission. At the executive level, directors might compete to see who can bring in the best deals and allies to the business. This includes not just making sales but also finding the best suppliers and key investors.

During your everyday business operations, you might come across opportunities where a quick elevator pitch might help you close the deal. This might happen on literal elevator rides or while waiting for your coffee at your favorite cafe. Whatever the situation, you have only a short time to grab someone’s attention and leave a lasting impression.

Your ability to do this successfully might not always end in an immediate sale, but it opens the door for future engagement so you can seal the deal.

Unfortunately, not everyone is born with the unbelievable, luck and charm it takes to analyze each situation and craft the perfect sales pitch. Having the right tools at hand can make all the difference.

The question is: how?

Here are five elevator sales pitches that help you break the ice and present your product without pushing a hard sale and chasing a potential business ally away.

1. Provocative question

Provocative questions often work best for sales reps working in fields that challenge the status quo or present a brand-new way of tackling a problem.

Consider, for example, a pitch for the best life saving AEDs and defibrillators.

Did you know that as coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) could make the difference between life and death for a person with an underlying heart condition? Have you considered that elderly people with coronary heart disease or hypertension are more likely to become infected with coronavirus and will develop more severe symptoms? The concerns for those with cardiac issues who are infected with coronavirus are very serious. I’d be happy to send you some free information on what you can do to keep you and your loved ones safe.

In this pitch, the sales rep does not merely ask a yes or no question. The person asks questions that provokes thought. While the potential customer now considers how they can protect themselves and others, the sales rep highlights problems and proposes a free offer with solutions, which lead to selling opportunities.

By asking questions, you force the people listening to look inside themselves for the answer, which might make them more receptive and less defensive. Once people start to think more deeply about a problem they dislike, they might feel more open to trying a solution, especially if it’s free.

2. Exclusive access

People love a good deal and the high of knowing they struck a bargain. In fact, many companies use this to their advantage, sometimes unethically. One NBC News article reports that companies do not always discount prices when they promote sales, but the idea of getting a sale still draws people. Reduced prices are not the only good deals available. People also love exclusivity and the prestige of getting access to goods and services that others do not.

Consider another automation software pitch approach. “If I told you I could give you special access to a free version of our automation software would you be interested? Usually, we can only offer 14 days as a free trial, but you have a much larger company and more complex tasks, so I can put in a good word and have the IT guys extend it by another 7 days. I think once you give it a try, you won’t want to give it up. Here’s my card for when you’re ready. That’s my direct line.”

When people know they’re getting a direct line to you, they might feel more inclined to actually give you a call. They get the opportunity to talk to someone they already started a conversation with: an actual human being. Knowing they’re getting an exclusive deal, and for free, also makes it difficult to pass up.

3. Credibility boost

When you come across a customer who prioritizes logic and quantifiable data, you might find that only numbers appeal to them. No matter what field you’re in, there is some relevant data you can memorize to pull out at a moment’s hint when the right opportunity presents itself.

Say, for instance, that you happen to share a co-working space with an entrepreneur who begins to complain about the menial tasks they need to finish each day before tackling real work.

Did you know that employees waste about six weeks per year on menial tasks and can cost your business up to $4 million per year? Well, so one Forbes article says anyway, but when you consider how much time we spend double-tapping Instagram posts and sending the same emails over and over again, it sounds about right. Automation eliminates almost all of that wasted time so you can focus on what you’re good at and what you love. If you’d like to know more about [software name], here’s my card. I’d love to hook you up with a free trial.

Most people love factoids, so this approach might work on just about anyone. However, it might prove especially useful if you encounter someone in tech, engineering or manufacturing.

4. Empathy

Understanding the role of empathy in sales is crucial. Not everyone wants to hear their struggle quantified, especially if they are extremely frustrated with the tasks ahead. Instead, they might want to have their feelings validated by knowing they are not alone. Consider, for instance, the same business person struggling to keep up with menial tasks above who has probably been pacing, gulping down coffee and now sits staring at the screen.

There’s nothing I hate more than all the tedious tasks that get in the way of the part of work that actually challenges me. Looks like you’re just about fed up with it, too. My company uses automation software to tackle all that and it helps, especially when I think back to my workload before that. Funny enough, we actually sell the product too. I can schedule a meeting with you or your team if you think they might want to give it a try. The first two weeks are on us, so you have nothing to lose.

Note that even techies might appreciate having their feelings validated from time to time. People in technical and high-stress jobs often feel especially pressured to maintain objectivity and tackle whatever comes their way without complaint. Sharing your similar struggles followed by the solution might break down a few communication barriers.

5. Customer story

If you don’t personally use the products and services your company creates, it does make things a little more difficult when pitching as a sales rep. However, you can easily draw on customer experiences to remedy this. The customers you served may have given you amazing feedback or you may have read amazing customer reviews proudly circulated around the company via the monthly newsletter.

Use one to your advantage.

A few months ago, I knew a business owner who was a month behind on orders because he constantly had to set production aside to handle the admin stuff: creating reports, manually monitoring inventory, etc,. Within a week of using [product name], he caught up by two weeks. Second week, he was finally on target. A month later, he was a week ahead of schedule and twiddling his thumbs, so he opened another branch. If you’re interested in trying the software he used, here’s my card. Shoot me an email anytime.

An approach like this gives you the opportunity to show rather than tell. Sure, it still involves telling the story, but instead of telling someone what you think the product or service can do for them, you illustrate what it has successfully done or helped someone else achieve.

The bottom line

These are just five of the many effective approaches a sales rep can take to attract the right customers and improve conversion rates. No matter what route you take, however, it’s important to consider four important elements to build a relationship you can grow later:

  • The attention-grabber
  • Who you are
  • Who you work for and what they do
  • How that product or service benefits the individual

Some people believe it’s important to start with an introduction of yourself, but that’s not always necessary. For instance, a sales rep might overhear a fellow customer at a cafe shop complaining about the poor internet reception. The sales rep sells mobile, prepaid internet plans to remote workers and tells the person about a better solution. When the person asks how they can get a hold of this better product, the sales rep presents a business card with a smile.

It all comes down to the exact moment you find yourself in, what the specific variables are and the general vibe of the situation. As many social scientists encourage people to do: learn to read the room and act accordingly. When you do this before deciding on a strategy, a world of success awaits you.

Written by Amanda Weeks, Content Manager at Toolsy

Download the ultimate asset pack to kick your sales enablement strategy into overdrive. The Sales Enablement Toolkit features 8 customizable templates that'll empower your team to sell consistently and effectively.

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