How to Pitch Yourself at a Trade Show | The G Show Ep. 13

I feel like this year’s Dreamforce sales conference, I learned how NOT to pitch. I asked many people going to Dreamforce what they do, who they are, and I got treated with long speeches and life stories. I had people talking about “me, me, me…” – that’s what I like to call a “Me Monster”. We need to get better at pitching at trades hows, and I think I have the perfect solution for that.

I’ve put together the do’s and don’ts of pitching at trade shows in this short video.

The Three Things NOT to Do When Pitching

There are three things you need to watch out for at tradeshows, and lately at the Dreamforce conference I’ve come across them a lot.

  1. If you ask somebody ‘what do you do?’ – and they answer something like ‘it’s complex’…. Then you need to buckle up, because you’re going to have a long conversation.
  2. If someone starts by saying “My grandpa started this company 100 years ago..” you need to run away, because you’re in for a ramble.
  3. Yesterday where somebody literally started a conversation with: “I was born in 1972, I’m 80lbs, 6 oz…” 10 minutes later, he gave me his whole life story.

Everything was just too long. We all need to do better at one-liners.

One-liners explain in a very short and condensed way: what you do, how you do it, who you do it for.

I love them!

Four Keys of a Successful One-Line Pitch

Author Donald Miller and CEO of Storybrand talks about the four keys to telling your brand’s story in one line. I’m going to summarize them quickly, because you, just like your prospect or customer, don’t have too much time to waste.

  • Character = Who is the person your brand speaks to?
  • Problem = What is the problem they are having, and that your brand fixes?
  • Plan = How does your brand fix their problem?
  • Sucess = How do you measure success?

Two One-Liner Examples for Major Brands


So let’s take popular a brand example such as Starbucks and apply all  of these principles of the one-liner to tell their story.

Character = The regular american
Problem = Busy schedules
Plan = Fresh brewed coffee in under 12 minutes
Success = Able to enjoy the day

So how can we summarize the brand’s story in a one-liner?

“We provide everyday Americans fresh brewed coffee in under two minutes so that they can enjoy their day.”


Using the elements above, I’m going to create a similar one for my company,  XANT.

Character = Salespeople
Problem = Can’t hit their quota
Plan = You need to do something different, we call it an AI System of Growth
Sucess = Hit quota and sell more.

So the one-liner for XANT can be summarizes as:

“We help struggling salespeople to achieve quota and sell more.”

It’s not rocket science, but it’s short and simple and to the point.

I encourage you to apply this strategy for your sales pitch at every trade show. You’ll see a much better response and your customers will thank you for giving them back time in the day!

The G Show with Gabe Larsen

The G Show is Gabe Larsen’s weekly show about the sales industry. We post short videos weekly to give you the scoop on what’s happening in the sales industry, and what strategies sales reps are using to reach their numbers.

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