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What To Cut And What To Keep

Link To The Elevator Pitch Essentials Home PageOne of the characteristics of an effective Elevator Pitch is that it is like an accordion; it is tailored to time you have and expands or contracts accordingly. As a result, in many cases you will find that you have to edit your Elevator Pitch so that it can be delivered in the time that is available. If you are pressed for time, it is generally best to cut things out of an Elevator Pitch in the following order.

The Money

The Money is the first that should be cut because it is secondary to what you are selling and can always be brought up at a later point.

The Benefits

You should give a quick sense of The Benefits of your Solution in your Summary Sentence so that you can postpone a more detailed discussion until later.

The Solution

If you give a high level definition of your Solution in your Summary Sentence, then it often isn’t necessary to go into any additional detail about it during your Elevator Pitch. A discussion of the details of your Solution at can be left up to a later conversation.

The Pain

The Pain can be cut before The Problem because you cannot make a profit if your innovation simply will not sell.

The Problem

One of the main concerns an investor has is “Will it sell?” Because The Problem addresses this question, it should be one of the last things you cut.

The Customer

While the details of The Customer can be left to a later conversation, you should at least try to give the audience a sense of The Customer because that gives context to your discussion of The Problem.

The Team

When to cut The Team depends on just how good of a team you have assembled. If you have an ordinary team -- meaning that you have some relevant experience, but nothing extraordinary like a prior success in the field -- then The Team can be cut fairly early. However, if you do have an extraordinarily experienced team -- like we did at SalesLogix -- then if you are pressed for time all you may want to talk about is your Summary Sentence and The Team (and in some cases just The Team because that may be enough to get the attention of the audience).

Summary Sentence

If you only have time to say one thing -- and you don’t have an extraordinarily experienced team (and you probably don’t) -- then that one thing should be your Summary Sentence.

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