How to nail a 15-second sales pitch in 5 proven,  simple steps

How to nail a 15-second sales pitch in 5 proven, simple steps

Sometimes 15 seconds of undivided attention is all you get. When the clock is ticking, do you know how to captivate someone's attention in a snap and make them want to hear more?

Creating and delivering an effective short sales pitch isn’t easy, but if you understand your audience, it's not rocket science either. In this post, we'll share some practical advice on how to nail the short sales pitch.

In this article, we’re going to discuss:

  • What is a short sales pitch & what makes them more challenging?
  • Components of the short sales pitch that keep them to the point
  • 3 tips to help you nail the 15-second sales pitch

What is a short sales pitch & what makes them more challenging?

A short sales pitch, or elevator pitch, is a snappy description of who you are, what you do, and what you offer. For salespeople, the opportunity to give a short sales pitch could come at any moment, and the goal is to leave the other person with just a taste of something they may be interested in purchasing.

Short, to-the-point, and likely just two or three sentences: that’s your short sales pitch.

When the opportunity arises, you don’t have time to ramble on about your company or product (plus, no one really wants to hear about it at this point). The goal of your short sales pitch is to pique their interest for follow-up down the road.

Always be following up with customizable follow-up reminders in Close

Of course, squeezing yourself, your company, and your product into a few short sentences presents some unique challenges:

  • You have only seconds to capture attention: People’s attention tends to stick to what interests them, so if prospects don’t find you interesting within the first few seconds of your pitch, they’ll already start to move on.
  • Often, the opportunity to give this pitch comes up unexpectedly: A 15-second pitch is not the kind you give on cold calls or in an email. The opportunity to pitch will probably present itself naturally in conversation, meaning you can’t prepare for it like you would when actively selling. You need to be on-the-ball to catch that opportunity and use it wisely.
  • It’s hard to narrow big tech into a short description: For SaaS and other tech salespeople, it may be difficult to distill what their company does for an audience who isn’t fully immersed in the tech industry.

So how can you overcome those challenges, and what should your short sales pitch look like?

Components of the short sales pitch that keep them to the point

To make a sales pitch that’s just 30 seconds or less, you’ll need a specific structure to follow. This will guide you through the process of delivering a clear, understandable pitch in a short amount of time.

So, what kind of structure should a short sales pitch have? Here are 5 clear components you’ll need:

1. Opening line

Think of this as the title of your pitch. If you want your audience to walk away with one idea clearly in mind, this is the sentence you want them to remember.

Your headline is clear, concise, and relatable. It describes in just a few words what exactly you and your company do.

Here’s how that might look:

"I’m a sales rep with Schedule Inc., which is an online scheduling tool that helps you get the best use out of your most productive times of the day."

Another way to use your opening line is to create intrigue. In this case, your opening line would be in the form of a question that pulls at a common pain point or relatable industry challenge.

"Have you ever felt that your most productive moments of the day were wasted in meetings or other non-focus work?"

Using a question as your opening line accomplishes a significant goal: creating curiosity in your audience.

Then, you would continue with a simple description of your company that includes the next component:

2. One clear benefit

A short sales pitch leaves you with a very limited amount of time to expound on the benefits of your product or service.

That’s why you need to pick just one.

Having this clear in mind will help you pinpoint what your product actually does for prospects instead of listing features.

"Schedule Inc. helps workers manage their energy rather than just their time by building out schedules based on the times when you’re most productive."

If you’re stuck on which benefit to highlight in your 30 second sales pitch, here are two steps to pick the best one:

First, find the benefit that your customers always mention. If you’re a rep for a SaaS company, find reviews on websites like G2 (you can even filter those reviews by certain keywords). Read what your customers are raving about online. Or, better yet, talk to them directly about the benefits they’re seeing with your product.

Sort reviews on G2 by the keywords you want to see.

Second, define the best benefit based on the person you’re talking to. What is this person’s role at the company where they work? Would they be an end-user of your product, or are they an executive or decision-maker? Do they have power over the budget for tools like yours?

Depending on where this conversation is taking place, you may not have all the answers to these questions. But when you have some idea of who you’re delivering your short sales pitch to, it will help you define the benefit that will resonate better with this person. After all, the priorities of the end-user and the exec will probably be very different.

3. One unique value proposition

Now that you’ve highlighted a benefit, it’s time to highlight the unique value proposition of your product.

There’s nothing new under the sun, which means that your prospect has probably already heard of similar products, or is possibly already working with a competitor.

So, where does your product stand out? In one sentence, what makes you different from the competition?

"We’re the only scheduling tool on the market that allows you to create customized blocks of focus time where meetings can’t be scheduled."

4. One statistic or story that proves your point

Now that you’ve established your product’s main benefit and how it stands out from the crowd, you’ll need to include some sort of proof in your short sales pitch.

Again, you’ll want to keep this to one or two sentences at most. This could be a distilled version of your best case study or an average statistic that solidifies the benefit or unique selling point you mentioned.

"The other day I was talking with a marketing director who uses Schedule Inc. for his team, and he said that the team’s total productivity had increased by 65% since they started working with us."

5. Call to action

At the point you might be thinking, “Does my short sales pitch actually need a CTA?”

Granted, you’re probably giving this pitch in a more casual environment, and a direct call to action may seem a bit forward at this point.

So, include a call to action that enters more naturally into the conversation.

Here are some ideas:

"If you think it makes sense, why don’t we schedule a quick call after the event to chat more about what Schedule Inc. could do for your team?"

"Is this something that might interest you?"

"Would your team be in the market for a new scheduling tool?"

The goal of this call to action is to get the prospect to the next step: A call or meeting where you can give a more detailed sales pitch and better qualify this prospect.

Now, let’s take a look at what the whole short sales pitch looks like when it’s all put together:

Prospect: So, what do you do?

Rep: Well, first let me ask you, have you ever felt that your most productive moments of the day were wasted in meetings or other non-focus work?

Prospect: Yeah, all the time.

Rep: So, I work with Schedule Inc., which is an online scheduling tool that helps you get the best use out of your most productive times of the day. It’s designed to help workers manage their energy rather than just their time by building out schedules based on the times when you’re most productive. We’re the only scheduling tool on the market that allows you to create customized blocks of focus time where meetings can’t be scheduled. If you think it makes sense, why don’t we schedule a quick call after the event to chat more about what Schedule Inc. could do for your team?

Prospect: That sounds interesting. Let’s schedule a call for next week.

3 tips to help you nail the 15-second sales pitch

Lights, camera, action: the spotlight is on you for 15 seconds, and your pitch needs to be perfect if you’re going to capture enough attention for a follow-up.

So, how can you make sure your 15-second sales pitch is memorable and easily understood by your audience?

Here are 4 essential sales pitch ideas and tips you need to keep in mind:

1. Remember to take a breath

While it may seem obvious that breathing would be important, it’s easy to practice giving a 15-second sales pitch without breathing.

If you’re not pausing to breathe somewhere in your pitch, you’re probably talking too fast; which means you’ll probably end your pitch a bit winded: not a great image to portray.

As you’re practicing your short sales pitch, mark specific places where it makes sense to take a breath. Use those moments to pause and let your words sink in with your prospects.

2. Avoid acronyms and jargon

Because your pitch is supposed to be quick, you should probably use a bunch of acronyms to shorten your sentences, right?

Before you answer that question, consider which of these two pitches is easier to understand:

Pitch 1: Our lead generation tool enables you to set specific rules for MQLs based on your ICPs, which leads to faster handoffs between marketing and sales and increased CMRR for your SaaS business.

Pitch 2: Our lead generation tool lets you define your most valuable leads based on the characteristics of your best customers, which helps both marketing and sales set better priorities and close more deals.

When it comes to a short sales pitch, the clearer the better. After all, if your prospect is stuck deciphering the acronyms you used, they won’t be thinking about how valuable your product is for them. The only exception here is when your prospective customers use that language in their conversations—then, speaking their language, using the same acronyms and jargon that they do can actually help.

Don’t mix in acronyms and jargon just to keep your pitch as short as possible. Instead, focus on making your pitch easier to understand for your target prospect, even if that makes it slightly longer.

3. Know when to use a 15-second sales pitch

When is it appropriate to use a very short sales pitch? Most likely when you know you don’t have a lot of time.

In other words, this is not the pitch you give when you’re in a scheduled meeting with a prospect.

If you want to use a short sales pitch correctly, prepare for moments when you might use it.

For example, heading to an industry event? Scoping out a trade show? Going to a party? Any kind of event, whether online or in-person, can be a great opportunity to lay out your 15-second sales pitch if you want to build your network.

The catch? You never know when you might need it.

That’s why preparing and practicing your 15-second pitch is so important. Then, you’ll be ready to use it whenever the moment comes.

Knock this ball out of the park with a short sales pitch that sells

If you’ve followed the tips above, your short sales pitch is on its way to success.

You’ve built a pitch that succinctly explains your offering while focusing on the benefits. You’ve differentiated yourself from the competition, given clear proof to back up your statements, and even made an ask for the next step.

Well done, you.

But to improve your 15-second pitch skills, you’ll need to improve your overall sales pitching technique.

Which is why you’ll want to check out the Ultimate Sales Pitch Guide.

This action-packed guide comes with 6 chapters that teach you how to craft, refine, and deliver a killer sales pitch. Best of all? It’s free to read online or download for later. Get it now to build a pitch that is equal to the product you sell.

ACCESS THE PITCH GUIDE →