Tweak Your Creative Agency Elevator Pitch for Maximum Effect

Can you pitch your agency in a way that will make even the hardest of prospects want to keep talking to you?

An elevator pitch, or elevator speech, used by many advertising agencies’ account executives has changed tremendously in the last few years. Many industry thought-leaders agree that the old elevator pitch is in need of a makeover. In this post I want to review how to present your elevator pitch in an effective way that will generate more prospects and consequently more business for your ad agency.

Chris O’Leary (author of the book Elevator Pitch Essentials) defined the elevator pitch well when he said, “An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea, product, service, project, person, or other solution and is designed to just get a conversation started. How are you starting the conversation with prospects?”

First and foremost, I would like to review the main goal and objective of an elevator pitch. For an ad agency, the ability to intrigue someone with your quick message is key to continue the conversation with a prospect or a current client. Ask yourself, is your prospective client more interested in listening about what your agency does, or are they more interested in how you can help them achieve their business goals? Chances are, it’s the latter. Start a conversation and please, please don’t start with a pushy sales message! They are not going to leap to buy your services with an elevator pitch. There has to be an element of romance, and in all good romances, it gets started by talking – not telling.

Excite and Engage

According to Cliff Suttle, the author of The Anti-Elevator Speech, the old elevator pitch doesn’t work anymore because they are long and boring. The key for success is to create an elevator pitch that will excite and engage prospective clients. Cliff’s idea of focusing on creating a relationship instead of pushing a sale is paramount to the success of your sales team.

Use Key Words

The second item, in my opinion, that needs to be changed, or at least revised, is the way you get your audience hooked into your service. Does your creative agency provide video production, collateral, brand development or website creation? Use keywords related to your prospects’ pain points in your elevator pitch. It is time to create interest so that he/she or they will ask you questions about your agency.

Keep it Short and Sweet

Keep it simple! Nowadays you probably need to keep your ad agency’s elevator pitch short and simple enough that it will fit in your new Twitter or LinkedIn post. More and more, we are seeing advertising agencies taking advantage of social platforms to share their elevator pitch. Make sure you say what you do in a simple and concise way that will generate enough interest from your prospective client to continue the conversation.

The 80/20 Rule

Stop and listen! We all know about the 80-20 rule. Your prospect should do 80% of the talking and you do the other 20%. The same thing applies to your elevator pitch. After you spend 30 to 45 seconds with the pitch, let your prospect talk! This is a terrific opportunity to start the conversation and learn more about their business, goals, challenges and what they are trying to achieve.

Build a Relationship

Educate. In order to build strong relationships I highly encourage you to educate your prospects. Talk about how can you help them. It is not about your service, it is about them. Yes, “them” means your prospects! Don’t try to close the sale using an elevator pitch. The idea is to engage and educate your prospect. A sale is the result of a relationship you are just about to start using an elevator pitch.

Practice Makes Perfect

Last but not least, practice and rehearse! After you create your elevator pitch, it may sound strange or uncomfortable to say it out loud. Don’t worry, review it with your team, practice and make changes. It is common to make changes on the fly and come up with a different version after your first draft. Make it fun and intriguing so it will flow naturally when you use it for the first time with a prospect.

Let us know what’s working for you with regards to your advertising agency elevator pitch in the comments section below.

Marissa Ho

Brand & Product Coordinator

Marissa was raised on a steady diet of mountain and ocean activities. She’s a product marketer by day, reader by night, and human being by day and night.

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