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3 Elevator Pitch Mistakes (and how to fix them)

I’ve found that the more people talk about how hard they worked, the less comfortable they are with their results.

Especially with the Elevator Pitch.

If your Elevator Pitch doesn’t sound quite right, here are the first three things to look at:

ELEVATOR PITCH with 3 major mistakes:

“We help passionate, committed, entrepreneurial CEO’s break through their challenges and take their business to the next level.”

MISTAKE #1 – a string of adjectives

Everyone wants customers who are passionate and committed – and have money…

The thing is, in order to be a good prospects, they’ll need a burning desire to solve the problem that you help solve.

That’s all the passion and commitment you need.

So focus on being clear about who you help and which specific problem you solve.

MISTAKE #2 – name calling

My clients were all excited about the phrase “entrepreneurial CEO.”

And to be fair, it is an accurate description of good referral for them.


Nobody thinks of themselves as an “entrepreneurial CEO.”

It’s not on anyone’s business card.

No spouse brags this way about their partner.

There are no job listings for it on Indeed.

So there’s no way to spot a good referral.

It’s an ok way to talk internally about your customers.

As an Elevator Pitch it will generate zero leads.

MISTAKE #3 – challenges

This is similar to mistake #2.

Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking “today I’m going to break through my challenges”

And no spouse sends their partner off to work with a hearty “break through your challenges today, honey.”

Instead, they think in specifics:

…I have to hire three more qualified people
…How am I going to fix my email newsletter
…Give a great speech to the Board!

A problem well-stated is half-solved – Charles Kettering

When you state their problem clearly, they’ll believe that you can help them solve it.

If you can’t state it clearly, then you don’t sound like the expert they need.

So – how do you know what problem they are trying to solve?

That’s the wrong question.

When you’re clear about the problem you solve, you’ll get great referrals of people who are facing that challenge.

Be clear about which problem you solve.

That’s how people send you referrals.

I listened to my clients talk for about 10 minutes.

I reworked their Elevator Pitch and sent it back to them.

“That’s it!” they said. No edits needed.


We help company founders who are technical experts master the operational, financial, and marketing aspects of their business so they can break through to the next level of growth, profitability, and productivity.

Key Elements of this Elevator Pitch:

1. “company founders who are technical experts”

They founded the company.

They know their products.

They may know how to sell.

They are technical experts.

They know who they are, and so do their friends, which means they are referrable.

2. “operational, financial, and marketing aspects of their business”

These are the specific problems they help solve.

By naming the challenges, they’ll get referrals for people who want those challenges solved.

People will hear this and say “I do know my product. I need help with marketing!”

That’s the sign of a great Elevator Pitch.

3. “growth, profitability and productivity”

This phrase gets noticed by people who are passionate and committed.

If they are looking to grow profitably, they’ll be interested.

It helps them understand what is holding them back.

And points to you as the person who can solve it.

That’s the sign of a good Elevator Pitch.

Is it time to Fix Your Pitch?

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