PO Box 920559
Needham, MA 02492



How Numbers Ruin your Elevator Pitch

Eyes glaze over as we introduce ourselves to a room full of 8 year olds.

“Our bank has over 100 branches across New England.”

“There are 1.2 million Rotarians around the world.”

“Our brokerage has been in business for 83 years.”

We verbally stumble around looking for a way to connect with these third graders.

And the problem isn’t the third graders.

It’s that our instinct for describing what we do is based on proving our expertise, while the Elevator Pitch is about making connections.

Proving your expertise won’t get people interested in what you have to offer.

Talk about results that they’ll be interested in for themselves, and they’ll want to continue the conversation.

OK. So how do you connect with third graders?

“Anyone here have a piggy bank? I’m like a big piggy bank for adults.”

“Who here likes helping people? We meet for lunch every week to figure out the best way to help the biggest number of people.”

“Think about the best toy you got for Christmas. I help adults put more money in their piggy bank so they can get the things they really want.”

The thing is, this exercise is just as valuable when you want to connect with adults.

Banks brag about the number of branches as a way to prove convenience.

But it’s no proof if we don’t know where the branches are.

“We have branches in Cambridge, Arlington, and Lexington” will at least catch the attention of people who work and live in those towns.

Rotarians can’t wait to tell you that there are 1.2 million Rotarians around the world.

But not one Rotarian, not a single Rotarian has ever joined Rotary because 1.2 million other people were doing it.

You can probably still hear the echo of your parents: “If Billy jumped off a bridge, would you do that too…”

People join Rotary to give back to their local communities. To get involved in helping people in Needham and around the world.

How about our financial advisor?

“I help young families afford a bigger house, longer vacations, and college educations for their kids.”

If you must use numbers, at least use numbers that showcase your results.

“Our savings accounts charge zero dollars in fees.”

“We just raised $3,600 at our annual music event, all of which gets donated back to worthy causes in Needham.”

“I show people how to retire three years earlier than they planned.”

Use numbers to showcase results, not your expertise.

You can’t prove your expertise in 30 seconds anyway.

Focus instead on starting great conversations.


If you now want to choose the right numbers for your Elevator Pitch, I can write it for you or guide you through writing it yourself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.