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7 Biggest Elevator Pitch Mistakes

Here are the 7 most common Elevator Pitch Mistakes:

Mistake #1: Using your 30-Second Elevator Pitch when asked “What do you do?”

“What do you do?” is not a request for your 30-Second Elevator Pitch.

Using your 30-Second Elevator Pitch in this situation causes people’s eyes to glaze over.

They haven’t asked for the details.


Here’s how to start the conversation:

When asked to “Introduce yourself to the crowd,” use your Formal Elevator Pitch (30-Second Elevator Pitch) to generate leads.

When asked “What do you do?” use your Conversational Elevator Pitch (one phrase) to start a conversation.

You must Create Your Formal Pitch before you can master your Conversational Pitch.

Here’s a video of my Formal Pitch.

My Conversational Pitch is “I’m the Elevator Pitch Coach.”

People respond: “How do you do that?” or “What’s an Elevator Pitch?”

Once they ask that question, then I have permission to share details about my work.

Are you getting permission before providing details?

Mistake #2: Selling

You don’t close the sale in the elevator.

And you won’t close the sale at a business networking event.

Remember that there are 2 opportunities at a business networking event:

1. Meet prospects

2. Meet people who know your prospects

You’ll meet far more people in the second category.

You don’t want to sell to them because they are not qualified prospects.

Instead, use your Elevator Pitch to teach them how to prospect for you.

Are you teaching prospects how to prospect for you?

Mistake #3: Weak Call to Action

How do you follow up?

More importantly, how do you inspire prospects to follow up with you?

Provide something that has:

1. Value to the prospect

2. Zero risk


Add them to your email newsletter list

Give them a free 10 minute walk through of your system

Send them a “7 Biggest Mistakes” white paper

Trade something of value to them for their contact information.

Here’s a video with 3 more ways to Strengthen Your Call to Action.

What’s your Call to Action?

Mistake #4: Winging It

Preparation Creates Spontaneity

An effective Elevator Pitch generates leads.

It doesn’t happen by chance.

It takes practice to deliver something that compelling so spontaneously.

Just ask any baseball player.

They practice the skills of running, catching, and throwing so they can react spontaneously when the batter hits the ball.

Practice these skills so you can respond spontaneously when asked “What do you do?”

How do you practice your Elevator Pitch?

Mistake #5: Lack of Details

The standard approach to developing an Elevator Pitch is to generalize about your customers.

That’s backwards.

You want to be specific.

Specific about a particular happy customer.

No one works with your customers the way you do.

Instant differentiation.

Here are some Examples of a 30-Second Elevator Pitch

How do you differentiate yourself?

Mistake #6: Monopolizing

When you see someone you know at a networking event,

Instead of wasting their time (and yours) with small talk, say:

“Hey, do you want to meet some people together?”

Then head into the room as a tag team.

Introduce your friend to people you know.

Get introduced to people they know.

Sing each other’s praises (it’s much more powerful, and less awkward, than singing your own).

It take some pressure off and makes it FUN!

The next time you’re at a networking event, enlist a friend in helping you meet more people.

Here’s a video with more tips on How to Work a Room.

How do you meet new people?

Mistake #7: Going Solo

An effective Elevator Pitch teaches other people how to prospect for you.

You don’t have to do all the work yourself

Join a networking group.

Show up for the meetings.

Sit down for at least one 1-on-1 per week.

1-on-1’s are the most valuable and least understood aspect of business networking

Here’s a video with 3 tips on conducting Effective 1-on-1’s.

Teach them how to prospect for you.

As you learn how to prospect for them.

Work Together!

What are you doing to develop your business networking team?

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