By: Nick Felton
What to say when someone asks “what do you do?”
We’ve all had that awkward moment, right? When someone asks, “So what do you do for a living?”….Pause…”Well, we uh,…I build things”. And that’s where the conversation starts to fizzle out…Right from the beginning.
It’s a situation many business owners have been in, and the one word answer or short explanation is normally the same. So, you may be wondering “how do I explain all of what I do, and how I do it, briefly?”
I’m glad you asked!
This, is exactly why having a pre-thought-out elevator pitch is something you should keep in your back pocket, so-to-speak. Let’s review how to craft an amazing and to the point elevator pitch!
NOTE: An elevator pitch, regardless of whom it’s being delivered to, should always be informative, and should ideally pique the interest of the other party.
1. Establish Your Goal
When someone asks you the above, somewhat intimidating, and albeit vague question, you must know what you want them to take away from your answer.
- Is this person a potential client and you’re hoping to peak their interest in a product or service you offer?
- Are you speaking with an investor who may lend you money?
- Are you simply explaining what you do for living?
Determining this first, will be the framework of your elevator pitch.
2. Know What, Where, and How?
Now that we’ve determined our goal, the hard part is over. Next comes you!
- What is it that your company does?
- What problem do you solve?
- Who do you help with your service(s)?
Example: You own a restaurant and recently purchased a food truck to add to your local street presence. You could say something like “I own a natural food gourmet shop in the 4th ward, specializing in gluten free and all natural recipes. We recently purchased a food truck that will allow us to offer freshly prepared food and drink to business men & women who are on the go. People who wouldn’t typically have time to stop and grab something healthy on their way to work, will stop at our food truck.”
That statement all covers 3 bases:
- What do you do?
- Where do you do it?
- How do you do it?
Not only is it concise, but it will pique someone’s interest!
3. Know Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
All businesses have a Unique Selling Proposition – What do you do better than your competition?
You’ve piqued their interest by touching on What, Where, and How. Now tell them why you’re different.
Example: “Our food truck is more affordable than typical food trucks and is more convenient than brick and mortar locations.”
Aha! You’ve made the connection for them. You got the wheels turning. What a great idea! You have set yourself apart from your competition, in that your competition may not have a mobile application. You can place yourself IN FRONT of the customer, rather than making them come to you.
4. The Benefit – Why Your USP Matters!
So you’ve told them what you do, where you do it, and how you do it. You even told them why what you do is unique. Why it’s an amazing idea!
Now, tell them why it matters. After all, why it matters, is all that matters.
Example: “This food truck will help us grow our brand, will drive traffic to our store, and will generate additional revenue for our business.”
Your benefit connects all the dots and is what ultimately gets someone excited about your business. But, you’re not done yet….
5. Should I Ask a Question? Yes!
An elevator pitch can very well turn into a conversation. A conversation can turn into the acquisition of a customer, a business partner, or simply another mouth talking about your brand. So let’s continue with our example.
You might ask:
“Have you ever eaten at an all-natural restaurant before?” or “Do you, or have you eaten an all-natural diet?”
This could open the door for the other party to inquire about how to find you, what ingredients you use, if you have samples, how they can partner etc.
Our Final Elevator Pitch is Ready to Practice!
I own a natural food gourmet shop in the 4th ward, specializing in gluten free and all natural recipes. We recently purchased a food truck that will allow us to offer freshly prepared food and drink to business men & women who are on the go. People who wouldn’t typically have time to stop and grab something healthy on their way to work, will stop at our food truck.
Our food truck is more affordable than typical food trucks and is more convenient than brick and mortar locations.
This food truck will help us grow our brand, will drive traffic to our store, and will generate additional revenue for our business.
Have you ever eaten at an all-natural restaurant before?