Today we begin a new series of short videos based on Chapter 7 of To Sell is Human, wherein I reveal the 6 successors to the elevator pitch.

Up first is The Question Pitch, which shows when you should use the interrogative to make your case (and when you should avoid it).

16 Responses to “How to Pitch Better: The Question Pitch”

  1. lisa snyder says:

    NJ Association of Woman Business Owners Central Region( is having a lunch discussion later this week based on chapter 7 of to Sell is Human.

    An article was also written in US1(local newspaper in Princeton, NJ) about the event . Read here:

    I am looking forward to facilitating the discussion and trying out different pitches with the lunch attendees.

    • Randy says:

      Another way to do this is to be insulting in an absurd way.

      Go to a fine restaurant and after a great meal when asked how it was say with a straight face (quietly) ‘It was absolutely terrible and I’m never coming back again next week an 8th time.’

      Every time they smile and sometimes THEY then tell me how great it was … they answer the question for me … ‘oh, haha … doesn’t look like it was too bad … no doggie bag required!’ or such.

      Put them in a position to answer the question for you when the facts present in your favor.

  2. Mike Brice says:

    I love the book and the different ideas to the tired elevator pitch, but I thought it was funny that you said an elevator pitch was 20th century and then used an example of a question pitch from the 20th century.

  3. Dain Dunston says:

    Love it! Great way to pitch. I’ll start using it.

  4. Gaz says:

    How great is this. I have a quiet voice and my one time wish was to get up and speak to a crowd of people but always felt too embarresed, here I can practice on my own and get the confidence. I need to tape myself as well and listen to the progression

  5. True Black says:

    Great stuff, right out of an advanced sales training program and a point I’ve talked with participants about in many such programs. I particularly like Mr. Pink’s reminder to make sure you have the facts to back up your question.

    Regardless of your feelings about his politics, you’ve got to acknowledge that Reagan was an excellent communicator. I wonder if anyone remembers how 73 year old Reagan answered ‘the age question’ in a presidential debate with Walter Mondale? “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” Brilliant reframing of a potential issue.

    • Thank you for posting the comment from the Reagan Mondale debate. I was out of the political loop at that time and this is the 1st I’d heard it (the quote). I’m going to file that entire description and Reagan’s words in my brain under “fantastic stories to illustrate Age-ism”. Such distinctive awareness for the long-held negative beliefs associated with age related performance, IQ, and capability- particularly in work-related activities and tasks-not to mention physical attractiveness in appearance. Age-ism and discrimination of a ‘silver citizen’ which is a phrase I coined , in every meaningful way implies uselessness.

  6. John says:

    I love the psychology behind this! I love how you look at the pros and cons of this kind of pitch. This is a super helpful pitch method that I had never realized would be so effective!

  7. During my coaching training many years ago, we spent huge amounts of time developing the skill of curiosity. Being willing to ask questions that are wide open, helped me to see so many more perspectives.

  8. Kim Derrenkamp says:

    The graphics in this video are simple yet outstandingly effective!

  9. I love this, illustrations really work too but why wouldn’t they

  10. Jeremiah says:

    Fantastic idea for the graphics. They really support and enhance the point.

    Good thinking!

  11. Heather says:

    Great videos; HORRIBLE background. That moving, crumpled paper image is so incredibly distracting. Please, please, let your simple (but effective) graphics and great ideas sing. They can stand on their own. Let the madness of the distracting background STOP!!!

    Thanks. 🙂

  12. Very great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I am hoping you write once more very soon!

  13. Milos says:

    Question vs. elevator pitches are very difficult to compare, as one could use a question pitch in an “elevator” situation (all that means is that your time and attention of the decision maker is limited). So while asking a question which urges people to think is great and very useful it is simply one of many ways we can go about getting our points across (in or out of elevators 😉 ). Great stuff, as always!

  14. carlos says:

    Great stuff, Dan. Questions are in the origin of our species. Thounsands years ago, when standing in the middle of the valley, we asked ourselves whether that moving bush was the effect of the breeze or the tiger. It’s the shortest way to get knowledge.