Why Do You Tell People What You Do?

Elevator PitchDo you have an “elevator pitch”? If you were in an elevator with your dream client, how would you capture his interest if you had just 30 seconds to answer the question, “What do you do?”

Besides working on copy assignments, I get to coach and train businesspeople how to be better networkers. We go over 60-second intros, even 10-minute presentations, but the elevator pitch … that’s one hard pill to swallow.

To answer “What do you do?” correctly, you must avoid answering it. Huh?

Let’s look at it another way. Your natural inclination is to respond:

  • “I’m an investment advisor.”
  • “I do websites.”
  • “I own a flower shop.”

Realize, people are less interested in what you do than your potential to add value to their lives. As soon as you respond with one of the above, they assume the rest – which includes the assumption “nothing new.”

Instead, present yourself in three parts. The first part is to ask a question beginning with the words: “Do you know?” You’re about to identify this person’s pain or need.

As a copywriter, my reply might begin:

“Do you know how most companies have Web sites that rarely convert visitors to customers?”

Here’s the second part, a statement that begins with the words “What I do” – followed by a brief description of your service.

Continuing with my example, I might say: “What I do is create content that compels visitors to stick around and guides them where my client wants them to end up.”

The third part of the formula presents a big benefit and begins with “so.”

“What I do is create content that compels visitors to stick around and guides them where my client wants them to end up, so the odds of a purchase are greatly improved.”

Action step: construct your elevator pitch today or tonight using this three-part approach. Practice it daily, post it on your bathroom mirror and above your computer monitor. Next time you’re asked, “What do you do,” you’ll be prepared.

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