We meet new people every day. And nearly every time we meet them, one of the first questions asked is, “What do you do?” It’s easy to say something like, “I’m a lawyer,” “I own an HVAC company,” or “I run a pest control company.” But what if you had a rockin’ elevator pitch that could make people sit up, pay attention, and even ask you more? It’s easy; you just need a little practice.
Step Out of Normal into Extraordinary
Normal is okay, but why waste time with normalcy? If you’re an entrepreneur or business professional, you want to wow people, right? And normal won’t cut it.
Instead of giving a straight answer for your elevator pitch, how about coming at it a totally different way? The Realtor can become a matchmaker who helps people find their dream homes. The owner of an HVAC company is now a comfort specialist and master of the elements. And an attorney would be right to say he’s an advocate for all people who have been wronged.
Once you look at who you are through new eyes, the people you’re speaking with will too. And because they’ve never heard it expressed that way, they’ll be engaged. Then they’ll want to learn more.
Share Why You’re Unique
At any event you attend, there are likely to be a few other people who do what you do. Listen to how they’re sharing their stories. Likely, they’re giving a boring one-word answer to the question of what they do. They’re not including a true elevator pitch.
When you share about yourself, tell a true story. Talk about what makes you and your company unique. An electrician could say how he saved 1,000 people from starting home fires or getting electrocuted last year—and then continue to tell a story about one such incident. Wouldn’t that be compelling? The Realtor can share how he put tens of thousands of dollars in home sellers’ pockets last year by helping them avoid Open Door and other related companies and negotiating the sales of their homes.
You approach your business in a way no one else does, so capitalize on that. Share your uniqueness.
Leave Room for Questions
When you provide an elevator pitch that isn’t a one-word answer, you can launch a conversation. If the person with whom you’re speaking is curious about what you do (since, after all, you didn’t tell them directly), they’ll ask questions. And that means you can share a little bit more.
This is just another trick to building rapport. When you tell someone what you do, they put you into a box: Realtor, HVAC, bug guy. They make a judgment immediately as to whether or not they need you and should continue talking to you. But if you start a conversation, you gain more time to discuss the value you can provide. And you’ll also be able to ask about what that person does. Before you know it, you’re building a relationship.
Practice Makes Your Elevator Pitch Perfect
As with anything else, answering the question, “What do you do?” takes practice. If you need to draft something to say, do it. Try different ideas. See how your response hits with different audiences. Before you know it, you’ll have an amazing elevator pitch that engages listeners and has them asking more.
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