Porch Your Elevator Pitch

When it comes to building a team of contagious customers, don’t expect them to sneeze out your Elevator Pitch. Give them a Porch Pitch.

These days, elevator pitches are long-winded (see Wikipedia’s definition). They’re rarely transferable. If you’re going to build an army of contagious customers, you need to equip them with something they can remember.


Last year, on Brian Clark’s post How to Sell RSS (Or Where the Feed Fanboys Drop the Ball), I left this comment:

Elevator Pitch: If Knowledge is Power and Time is Money, think of Content Feeds as a way to gain Knowledge without wasting Time.

Porch Pitch: Gain Knowledge. Save Time.

Yesterday, I heard someone turn my porch pitch for RSS back into an elevator pitch – but that the length didn’t matter. What matters is he remembered it and delivered a rock-solid pitch on the benefits of Search Once and Subscribe.

Guy Kawasaki prefers Mantras Over Missions. Anita Campbell asks Can You Describe Your Business Strategy in Two Words? Your customers and prospects would probably applaud both articles.

Can you deliver your pitch on a porch? Can visitors to your blog or website immediately pick up on your porch pitch? Is your pitch something your customers and "sneezers" can redeliver to their audience?


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  1. says

    Funny you should be writing about this today. I heard Guy in an interview on some podcast last week and have been thinking about Mantras ever since. And since I’m likely rebranding Healthy WebDesign soon, it seems like a good time to take a look.

  2. says

    In my honest opinion, if you can’t make it clear what you do in seven to 10 seconds, then you’ve lost the pitch…

    A great book that, ironically, YOU told me to read, "Made to Stick," gives six great principals to making a great idea "sticky."

    If you apply some – if not ALL – of those principals to your "Porch Pitch," you’re going to have a more understandable and memorable introduction. And it should lead to the person asking something like…

    "Wow, so how does that work?" or "I have a {insert need/lead here} that could benefit from your expertise…"

    Start building the relationship and close the sale.

    Great work, Mike!

    Keep on cooking

    The Brand Chef

  3. says

    Hi, Mike. Great post, and I enjoyed the Kawasaki and Campbell links. This all got me thinking: what would happen if a corporation in the act of creating a “mission”–or whatever it calls it–stopped thinking from the inside out and worked from the outside in by considering ONLY WHAT IT WANTS CUSTOMERS TO SAY? Wouldn’t that produce a completely different set of words and ideas? It would eliminate the long gray snoring lumps of prose (“we will treat every customer with respect,” “we will deliver superior quality products and services for our customers and communities through leadership, innovation, and partnerships”). If the emphasis was on what we wish our customers would say about us over a burger or a cup of coffee, your “Gain Knowledge. Save Time” porch pitch for RSS is just about perfect. In fact, you’re close to making a convert of me….

  4. says

    So, say a person (gee, I wonder who…) wants to get down to those two words, what questions are you going to ask to get there? I realize this is an art and science worth big bucks, but how about a few questions for the little guys and gals down here on the boards?
    Thank you!

  5. says

    Lisa: Maybe it just takes having lots of conversations with yourself and others to figure out the germ of your business that gives you the most pleasure, or most differentiates you, or best fills a distinct need for others, etc. I see that you help writers. I’m a writer: what FEW words (not necessarily TWO words) do you want in MY head when I think about your business?

  6. says

    > Dawud – Frankly, I think “Healthy Web Design” is almost a mantra all by itself. Looking forward to hearing (and sharing) your porch pitch.
    >Andrew – Here’s to great SUCCESs!
    >Jane! – Exactly! Design the viral message and deliver on it. That doesn’t guarantee it goes viral or will ever be repeated, but it will equip your ‘sneezers’ with a mantra they can remember.
    >Lisa:-) Here’s the question I’d lead off the process with. When people introduce you to others, they should say you’re the go-to person for . That will kick start the design of your porch pitch.
    >Jane: Great follow-up and conversation here. Bullseye!

  7. says

    >Robyn – :-) Whittling a business plan into a porch pitch, dissertation into a thesis statement – both are difficult, but necessary, yes? Good comparison
    >Derrick – thanks for your comment and pointing to your site. Welcome aboard, looking forward to your tips.

  8. says

    I can name that song in two words…

    I like this short post from Mike over at ConverStations called Porch Your Elevator Pitch. In it he encourages us to get to the essence of what we are trying to do. His example:Elevator Pitch: If Knowledge is Power and

  9. Confident Writing says

    50 words to pitch your blog: a writing challenge for business bloggers

    Can you describe your blog in 50 words or less? That was the challenge I set myself as part of the redesign of the Confident Writing blog. I was looking for a piece of text that would a) welcome new