Take a Tip from the Art of the Elevator Pitch


businessmen waiting for elevator

Do you know what an elevator pitch is? It’s normally used by people seeking investment money. The idea is for you to condense your brilliant idea into a compelling presentation in the amount of time that it takes to go from the lobby to the investor’s office on the top floor. If you’re good at it…the investor invites you into the boardroom. If you fall flat…he calls security. It’s more than a science; it’s an art, that many have attempted, but very few have ever truly mastered.

Tell me your story in 30 seconds.



How do you even approach that question? Yet that’s exactly what we do every time that we make a commercial. We take some element, some bullet point, price structure, or deal, and craft what we think is a comprehensive rendering of who we are, what we sell, and why people should flock to our store instead of the other guy’s.

Some people scream their message, others speed through so quickly that it’s impossible to understand what’s being said, and still others use silly pranks, goofy quasi-superheros, or pay the big bucks for a celebrity spokesperson. I don’t mean to offend the reader, but which of these have you failed with? I ask, because if you were totally satisfied with your marketing plan and advertising, you probably wouldn’t be reading this publication.

Number one error that dealers make when advertising…

Do you like fried liver and onions? Do you know anybody who does? I personally think that it’s one of the most repulsive and disgusting meals that I’ve ever tasted. I don’t care how good it is for me. Low in fat—pfft! Rich in protein—yawn! Fantastic for my immune system—boring!You see, you can tell me all of the benefits that you enjoy from eating that stuff and you still couldn’t get me to bite! What’s the moral of the story? Your incentives are not my incentives.

Most people tell their story with too many “I”s in the narrative. They use commercial tactics that speak more to the GM of the dealership than what really motivates their customers. (Free tip: sometimes the lowest price is not the trigger.)

My advice? Ask more questions in your advertising…

Let your prospective customers answer them for themselves, with your dealership.

John Yost is the senior sales executive of CarDealerCommercials.com, a division of Ryno Production, INC. For more information, please call 800-860-7966 x 115, email jyost@dealermark.com, or visit www.CarDealerCommercials.com. If you’d like to read a few more insights, visit my blog at: cardealercommercials.com/blog/.

Michael Bowen

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