Creating a strong sales pitch is crucial for landing a deal, so it’s in your best interest to have all the information you need to grab your audience’s attention. This includes incorporating eye-catching visuals and ensuring you address your prospect’s concerns and pain points.
With this guide, learn how to adapt your sales pitch strategy to entice buyers to try your offering. Read on for the definition of sales pitch, different types, examples, and templates, as well as how to craft a unique sales pitch.
What is a sales pitch?
A sales pitch is a message or sales script designed to lead your prospect to a certain action, such as scheduling an appointment or demo. A sales pitch sets the tone for the entire customer relationship, so getting your pitch right is essential for a successful sale.
The first step in developing a great sales pitch is changing your mindset. You should use a sales pitch to begin a conversation—not to sell a product. Keep this in mind, and your quota will thank you.
Why is it important to have a sales pitch?
Love them or hate them, sales pitches help prevent missed opportunities. When you’re face-to-face with a prospect, the last thing you want is to get tongue-tied. Other reasons why sales pitches are important include being able to:
- Organize your thoughts: They help you create a launch point for any sales conversation.
- Establish brand consistency: This helps build trust and leads to stronger long-term relationships and customer loyalty.
- Save time and money: Every pre-made pitch you send is more time saved in sales productivity. If your reps don’t have to craft individual pitches, they can move through their tasks efficiently.
Product pitch vs. sales pitch
Product and sales pitches overlap a great deal, but they’re not exactly the same thing. A product pitch highlights a specific product and how that product can benefit the prospect. A sales pitch focuses on the prospect and tries to persuade them to buy products based on solutions to pain points.
Product pitches are usually used further down the sales pipeline once representatives have gained a prospect’s trust. With a relationship established, reps can focus on product details and features they didn’t have time to mention earlier.
Types of sales pitches
Sales pitches are not one-size-fits-all. There are many different sales pitches depending on your product, your company, and how far along you are in the sales pipeline. Types of sales pitches include:
- Social media pitch
- Presentation sales pitch
- Follow-up sales pitch
- One-line sales pitch
- Elevator pitch
- Phone sales pitch
- Email sales pitch
- Investor pitch
- Pain-point pitch
- One-minute sales pitch
You can always use a combination of pitches for the same prospect. For example, you might give an elevator pitch at a conference and then follow up with an email pitch before finally delivering a comprehensive presentation pitch.
Sales pitch examples and templates
Below are 10 notable sales pitch examples to inspire you when crafting a winner. These examples cover various types of sales pitches and offer tips you can apply to any prospect:
- Two-sentence pitch
- Elevator pitch
- Phone pitch
- Email pitch
- Personalized social media pitch
- Sales presentation
- Follow-up sales pitch
- Unconventional investor pitch
- Personal pain-point pitch
- One-minute pitch
You can also use the templates and sales pitch scripts included for each type to help you create your own.
1. Adam Goldstein’s two-sentence pitch
Adam Goldstein, CEO and co-founder of travel deal site Hipmunk, struggled to get funding for his startup. He reached out to the CEO of United Airlines with the following two-sentence pitch:
The CEO responded directly to Goldstein within 15 minutes. Hipmunk went on to secure over $55 million from investors.
Takeaway: Have a one-liner ready to go for those brief moments of opportunity. Consider it your log line. Your own log line should answer the following questions:
- What is your presentation about?
- What does your startup or product/service do?
- What’s your idea?
Tip: Try creating a log line under 140 characters to help your audience immediately digest the information and decide if they want to hear more.
Two-sentence pitch template
My company [insert Company Name] is creating [offering/service/product]. We aim to help [target audience] with [pain point].
2. G2Crowd’s elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is a classic business pitch example. G2Crowd is a platform that allows software users to share their opinions on a product. Here’s the company’s elevator pitch:
Although less than 20 seconds long, the pitch clearly conveys the platform’s purpose while explaining the problem it solves for software users.
Takeaway: Shorter is often better. A concise sales pitch forces you to explain your product or service in layperson’s terms—and in a way that quickly generates interest. Aim to create a 20- to 30-second elevator pitch that answers the following questions:
- What does your product or service do?
- What distinguishes your product or service from others?
- What are your product or service goals?
Tip: Write down what you want to say. Cut out jargon and be specific. For example, if your company says it “eliminates the need for insurance agents to use a lot of paper,” you could instead say: “Our e-signature platform cuts down on the overwhelming amount of paper that insurance agents have to use.”
Elevator pitch template
Our company, [insert Company Name], is in charge of developing and designing [product/service]. With this [product/service], customers can enjoy [list brief benefits]. We’ve also helped customers achieve [benefit] by [insert stat]. By [date], we hope to increase [XYZ] by [XYZ]. Is this something you’d be interested in being a part of?
3. Mark Cuban’s phone pitch
Mark Cuban, entrepreneur, investor, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, led the charge with his sales team by getting on the phone with former season ticket holders to help boost low ticket sales.
At the beginning of these conversations, Cuban heard sales objections such as how bad the team was. In response, he would remind former ticket holders of their own experiences going to games as a kid—when it didn’t matter if a team was winning or losing. The point was the game itself. The arena. The popcorn, cheering, and time with parents, friends, neighbors, etc. It was a unique experience that cost only $8 a ticket and provided more value than going to the movies or McDonald’s.
His approach worked and ticket sales began to climb. Cuban bought the Mavericks for $280 million. The team is now valued at $3.3 billion.
Takeaway: During a phone pitch, be sure to sell prospects on the benefits, not the features.
Tip: Be upfront about what your product or service lacks, but explain how you’re different from competitors and how you can help solve the prospect’s problems.
Phone pitch template
Hi [Prospect’s First Name], this is [Your Name] from [Company Name].
I work with [target audience] in [industry] to help assist with [benefit 1, benefit 2, benefit 3]. I wanted to give you a call to ask you a few questions about [common pain points] and any challenges you may be facing.
I believe our [product/service] would be a great fit for your team—would you like to try out our free trial?
[If the prospect is interested, provide more information on how to set them up with the trial here.]
4. Ryan Robinson’s email pitch
Content marketing consultant Ryan Robinson often contacts businesses to offer his services. Before ever making his pitch, he finds something of value to give to the prospect, such as a share on Twitter. He then includes what he did for the recipient in his pitch.
The following email netted Robinson a $10,000 per month retainer:
Takeaway: Email pitches should always provide value upfront, and they need to stand out from the white noise in your prospect’s inbox. Send a guide or resource that helps your potential customer overcome a challenge.
Tip: Maybe you see on your prospect’s website that they’re busy hiring a virtual sales team. Try sending the prospect an e-book about onboarding virtual employees before making your pitch.
Email pitch template
Hi [Prospect’s First Name],
I just came across your [blog/website]—love how you [custom].
Our company [Company Name] recently shared an article on [custom] that I thought you may be interested in. I’ve linked it here [insert link], but also wanted to share additional resources that you and your time may find helpful:
- [Article/Resource 1]
- [Article/Resource 2]
- [Article/Resource 2]
Would you be interested in setting up a call to learn more about the services we can offer you?
Let me know,
5. Personalized social media pitch
When cold-pitching products or services to experts and influencers in your field, weave personal details from their public social media bios and profiles into your outreach message. Take a few minutes to check out their LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social media accounts and use the information you find to your advantage:
Takeaway: Personalize your pitch by looking at the prospect’s LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. Take 10 to 20 minutes to find valuable insights about the potential customer and their buyer persona before contacting them.
Tip: Begin with a social talking point, such as a mutual connection or experience you’ve shared, to establish rapport and show you’ve done your research. Then, demonstrate how your offering can help solve the prospect’s pain point.
Social media pitch template
Hi [Prospect’s First Name],
I just came across your [social media platform] profile through a mutual connection [Mutual Connection’s Name] and saw your [media] about [custom]. I really appreciate your thoughts about [custom]!
Since you shared about [custom], I wanted to see if you would be interested in our new [product/service]. With [product/service], customers see an average of [insert stat or data] and experience several helpful benefits, such as [list benefits].
Do you have time this week for a quick chat?
Looking forward to hearing from you,
6. Scrub Daddy’s sales presentation
A sales presentation pitch is typically more in depth than the other pitches we’ve mentioned. Scrub Daddy CEO and inventor Aaron Krause’s sales presentation on season four of Shark Tank is worth revisiting:
The smiling sponge product received $200,000 from Shark investor Lori Greiner and is projected to make over $100 million in sales by the end of 2022.
Takeaway: Include eye-catching visuals and demonstrations in your sales presentation.
Tip: Show, don’t tell—consider adding charts, graphs, and photos to make your pitch even more interesting for the prospect.
Sales presentation template
[Introduction], we are [Company Name] looking to solve [list problems].
With this new product, [Product Name], you can [list benefits].
[Show a demo of your product.]
[Provide more benefits of your product.]
[Close by letting customers know where to purchase your product.]
Explore more sales presentation tips here.
7. MailboxValidator’s follow-up sales pitch
A follow-up sales pitch can be a phone call, email, or social media message. In this example, a MailboxValidator team member sends a follow-up pitch after meeting a prospect at an event:
The email highlights where the two met and references their conversation. Only in the third paragraph does the sender, Janet, mention Jim’s problem and how she can help. She then asks directly for an appointment.
Takeaway: Remember, the point of a sales pitch is to get the prospect to the next step (e.g., another conversation or an appointment). Janet includes a clear call to action (CTA)—a sales phone call—at the end of her pitch. She suggests a time for them to talk and puts the ball in Jim’s court.
Tip: In your sales follow-up emails, always propose specific days and times for a conversation, especially if trust is already established with the recipient. Don’t simply say, “Would you like to meet?” Give clear instructions to prompt the recipient to take action.
Follow-up sales pitch template
Hi [Prospect’s First Name],
It was really nice meeting you on [date]! I loved chatting with you about [custom].
I wanted to follow up and send over some resources from our team that I think you may find helpful:
- [Resource 1]
- [Resource 2]
- [Resource 3]
We also have a new [product/service] that I would like to share with you—do you have time this week to set up a quick call?
If so, would you be able to chat on [date and time, or range of dates/times]?
Looking forward to hearing from you,
8. Party on Demand’s unconventional investor pitch
Sometimes the best sales pitch is an unconventional one. While delivering his Startupfest pitch, Willie G from Party on Demand certainly didn’t lack excitement. In a room full of people pitching tech solutions, Willie presented a unique party experience.
He brought his larger-than-life personality to the stage and used it—and every moment—to his advantage.
This pitch worked because he was energetic, fun, and joyful—everything a party should be—he did something different and made an impression.
Takeaway: A bold, unconventional approach may be appropriate if it fits your and your brand’s personality. If you decide to go with this approach, get to know your audience fully first as well as your product or service inside and out.
Tip: This tactic may not work for every product or service. Make sure that you’ve developed at least a few general branding guidelines and that the tone of your pitch matches your brand voice.
Investor pitch template
My [Company Name] is developing [offering] to help [target audience] with [pain point].
[Add a unique reason why your target audience should do business with you here.]
Visit our website at [website URL] and sign up to receive a free [product].
9. Brightwheel’s personal pain-point pitch
At the start of his pitch, Brightwheel founder and CEO Dave Vasen shows he did his research by stating he knows all the Shark investors are parents. Watch as he touches on a personal pain point for parents of toddlers and pre-K children:
Vasen’s pitch highlights a pain point that every parent or guardian experiences: Not knowing what their kid is doing in daycare or preschool every day. He relates to his audience through a shared experience—one that is especially close to the heart.
Takeaway: A great way to find success in sales is recognizing pain points that many people face and developing a solution.
Tip: Instead of going deep into the technical aspects of a product, focus on the emotional, real-life benefits of using it.
Pain-point pitch template
For many [target audience], [insert problem/pain point here].
[Relate to the audience with a personal story.]
With [offering], we can help solve [problem] by:
If interested, feel free to check out [website URL] and try out our free demo.
10. Matt Macnamara’s one-minute sales pitch
Matt Macnamara, an enterprise account executive, demonstrates that sometimes it doesn’t take more than 60 seconds to catch a prospect’s attention. In this one-minute pitch, he explains what his company can do for Philadelphia business tenants and even allows time for the listener to daydream about their ideal office space.
Although this video explains how he goes about pitching to potential clients, it also serves as a pitch. Macnamara doesn’t ever bring up material or labor costs, blueprints, or details about his business. He lets the audience visualize what a better workspace could look like. He focuses on the benefits that Formcraft provides rather than focusing on the company itself.
Takeaway: Practice distilling your company’s product or service down to its essence, and stick your pitch to 60 seconds to stay accountable. Remember to focus on your target audience’s end goals.
Tip: Highlight the benefits they’ll experience, not the details of “how” they’ll get there. You don’t want to waste time explaining the processes behind what you offer.
Speedy sales pitch template
When I first began in [industry], I came across a common issue. Customers needed [solution].
For [time period], our [Company Name] has been developing [offering] to help solve:
- [Problem 1]
- [Problem 2]
- [Problem 3]
Our [offering] also offers other benefits such as [benefits].
Try it out for yourself and sign up for a free demo at [insert website URL].
How to make a sales pitch: The 6-step sales pitch structure
With so many pitch options, it can be hard to know where to start. We recommend the six-step sales pitch structure. No matter your situation, the following framework won’t lead you astray. Here’s how to create a sales pitch in six steps:
1. Identify the problem
First, identify your prospect’s pain point. When you craft your sales pitch presentation, lead with the challenge your audience currently faces and back up your claims with data. (This is also the challenge that you plan to solve with your offering.)
2. State your value proposition
Next, state your value proposition. A value proposition, also known as a unique selling proposition, is a statement that highlights the value your business, product, or service can provide to its customers.
In your value proposition, mention how your offering can help solve the problem you’ve identified in step one. Be sure to share the features of the offering and its benefits.
For example, your value proposition could look like this:
Our [Company Name] assists [audience] with [pain point] in order to help achieve [benefits].
3. Share a story
To capture your audience’s attention and connect with them on a deeper level, consider sharing a story of how your company got started and who you are—this can be similar to an About Us page.
Include points surrounding what motivates your team, past success stories, and incorporate something personal. You can also introduce your team members here if you have them.
4. Offer solutions
After highlighting the problem(s), address how your product or service can offer your audience a solution. To do this, break down your value proposition into solutions that are related to the benefits, such as:
- X helps Y save time and money
- X helps Y grow business by Z amount
Tip: Make sure your solutions are easy to understand and don’t offer too many choices.
5. Show social proof
Tap into social proof by providing testimonials, references, and customer stories that show how your product or service has helped similar businesses succeed. Showcase the data behind why your offering is beneficial to your audience and support your solutions listed in step four.
6. End with a CTA and be open to questions
Continue the conversation by asking open-ended questions. Then, move the prospect to the next step with a clear CTA, such as: “Sounds like we’re on the same page. Are you free for another follow-up call next Tuesday after you’ve had time to look at the numbers?”
Tip: Open the floor to questions and feedback from your audience to begin a conversation and prompt further engagement. Being open to questions during the presentation is essential.
Sales pitch ideas + best practices
There’s a lot that goes into a sales pitch. The ingredients for a well-crafted sales pitch are:
- Creative focus
No matter where you’re pitching or what media you’re using, every sales pitch needs to get the prospect interested and excited about the opportunity you’re offering. There are several ways to do this, but first, let’s look at some universal best practices.
Contact the right person at the right time
A successful sales pitch is all about timing, according to Courtney Gupta, a community engagement specialist and former SMB account executive at Zendesk.
“You can have this amazing sales pitch, but the success of it really depends on timing,” Gupta says. “Sometimes, prospects would love to talk but aren’t looking to change vendors or are in the middle of another deal. Make a note if they provide a better time to reach out.”
It’s also important to do thorough background research on the audience or person you plan on pitching to (this can also help you find the right person to speak with if you’re unsure).
Make the prospect the hero of the story
Another tip is to frame your pitch with a compelling narrative. In this story, the prospect is the hero and they have a challenge they need to overcome. Your product is the sidekick that will help them do it. Your job as a salesperson is to connect your product with your prospect to achieve their happy ending.
Understand the customer’s needs
You can’t tell the right story if you don’t know your audience. Buyers want sales reps to take the time to gain a firm understanding of their business and the roadblocks they’re facing—but the reality doesn’t always match the expectation. Many customers don’t believe that sales reps truly understand their problems (or have a way to solve them).
Your initial sales pitch should demonstrate your knowledge of the prospect’s:
- Unique challenges
Most types of sales pitches allow for some time to research the prospective buyer in advance, and it’s critical to do so. Even just 15 minutes of research on Google News and LinkedIn will go a long way toward inspiring confidence.
Start with a strong opener
In a sales pitch, the subject line or opening line is the “once upon a time” that leads prospects into your sales story. In many ways, it’s a microcosm of your entire pitch.
An intriguing opener personally speaks to prospects and persuades them to take the time to read the message. Some important points to remember include:
- Keeping it personal: Do this by using the contact’s name and the word “you.” Generic openers are easier to overlook.
- Writing something meaningful: Doing so can help you hook the prospect into your story. Include an eye-catching statistic, offer an informational (or controversial) statement, or ask a question demonstrating your knowledge of their industry. Do your research and target a personal pain point.
Crafting openers that are relevant to your prospects comes with practice. Consistently A/B test your emails to learn what does and doesn’t work in your messages.
Get creative throughout
Go beyond the standard sales pitch email or cold call—there are creative ways to take a pitch to the next level.
“If your emails didn’t work, gifts are another avenue,” says Gupta. “Gifts show your brand character. They often make prospects want to take a meeting because they remember you and relate that positive memory to your brand. Even if the timing wasn’t right the first time, they’ll keep those warm, fuzzy feelings in mind in the future.”
Remember, there isn’t only one way to increase sales. Try different tactics until you find what works.
Keep pitch length in mind
Buyers don’t care about your product or service—they care about their problems. If you spend all your time with a prospect talking about yourself and your company, it’ll be hard to convince them that you actually want to help them resolve their issues. Keep your sales pitch concise, and leave room for listening and engagement.
The ideal sales pitch length depends on the format, but here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Aim for 300 words in your sales emails: A study of cold sales emails found that emails with 1,400 to 1,500 characters (approximately 300 words) showed a substantially higher response rate than emails of 100 words or fewer.
- Keep your cold calls under eight minutes: Chorus, a conversation intelligence platform, discovered that 7.5 minutes is the average length of a cold call that converts into the next step.
- Limit your sales presentation to 18 minutes: Apply the TED Talk principle to your sales presentations. TED Talk speakers are limited to 18-minute presentations for a simple, data-backed reason: After the 18-minute mark, you lose your audience to information overload.
How Zendesk can help improve your sales process
Now that you have the knowledge and insight, begin creating your own pitches. Start from scratch or use sales enablement tools to get a head start.
If you wish you had more time to research your leads and write the perfect pitch, invest in a solution like Zendesk Sell. Our sales engagement platform helps you cut down on busy work so you can get back to building relationships. Sell also allows you to track sales pitch success metrics so you can keep refining your communication methods.