Forget the Elevator Speech - BusinessBlog : McGraw-Hill
Career Marketing & Sales

Forget the Elevator Speech

Excerpt from 25 Toughest Sales Objections by Stephan Schiffman.

“Elevator speeches” may work for some professionals, but if you’re salesperson, you need to get off the elevator.” This, according to the legendary sales trainer and author, Stephan Schiffman. And in 25 Toughest Sales Objections, Schiffman shares his secret for making your 30-second commercial stick:

For the longest time I have heard how important the “elevator speech” is; but to be honest I never got what the average sales person wanted to convey in the 30 seconds they were allowed to speak. I was never sure that it did anything.

The elevator speech was always designed to tell someone you just met a brief picture of your business. Get them interested in what you sell, and maybe make an appointment. Did it work? Probably not, because it never said anything of substance. At the same time I have been teaching that the reason that people do buy is because it makes sense to do so. In other words, what you are selling is better than what they have. And if we can hit the right button, about our product being better, we could secure the sale. The elevator speech stinks because without knowing something about the person how could you really drill down into their requirements and make a sale?

I would like to see a revision of the 30 second commercial; it should be about innovation. Every product that is sold today is an improvement of something else. It is better, an improvement, an innovation over what people are using now. Therefore we should talk about how our products are innovative. What does that mean then? Can you as a sales person spend 30 seconds in stating that your product or service is innovative? Can you illustrate the way that the product or service is an improvement over what exists in the market place today? Can you be very specific in those statements or are you “roaming around” in your conversation trying to find something to really say?

Innovation is the key to the American economy, and you must be a part of that to be really successful in sales. Good Selling!


Stephan Schiffman is the founder and former president of DEI Sales which has trained more than 500000 professionals in over 9000 companies during the past 30 years. Mr. Schiffman who has written dozens of books that have sold millions of copies lives in New York City.

Stephan Schiffman is the founder of DEI Sales which has trained more than 600,000 professionals in over 9,000 companies during the past 30 years. He has written dozens of bestselling books that have sold well over a million copies including The 25 Toughest Sales Objections—and How to Overcome Them Make the Sale Happen Before Lunch The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople Cold-Calling Techniques and Closing Techniques.