The assumption of an elevator pitch is that the “pitchee” is stuck in the elevator and has to listen to your spiel. In the real world, that doesn’t happen, especially when your message has to be delivered online or in print. Here’s a better way to accomplish the same thing, which will positively impact your business in both the short and long-terms.
Learning The Hard Way
When my wife and I started our ad agency, we were pretty excited and proud of our firm. Yet, when we would meet people at an event and they would ask us, “What Do You Do For A Living?”, and we said, “We own an ad agency.”, they would immediately change the topic of conversation to that of a poorly performing Minnesota sports team.
We found this pretty disheartening. How dare they not be as excited about what we do for a living as we are!
After making this mistake for more years than I would care to admit, I had a “moment” when something significant dawned on me: What DO you DO for a living? The word DO is in there twice. They wanted to know what we DO for a living and not what we are for a living.
When we talked about it we realized exactly what we do for a living: We Get Customers For Our Clients
And Then What Happened?
Things changed immediately for our business, once we figured that out. When people would ask us what we did for a living, and we gave them our new answer, they would stop, think a bit, and say things like, “Here’s my card. Call me and set up an appointment.” Or “Can I be your friend?” I hate to admit how much business we had missed before we figured this out. The cool thing about this approach is that we use this technique to create crisp, ten-words-or-less messages for our clients. The “what do you do” of every business can be expressed this way.
Your Business In Ten Words Or Less
- Dentist: We make mouths look and feel great.
- IP Law Firm: We protect and manage ideas that drive the world’s economy.
- Funeral Home: We celebrate lives.
- Web Security Firm: We keep our clients’ web applications available and secure.
- Market Research Firm: We ask lots of good questions and sell the answers.
Important things happen when you can describe your business that way. Not only is your message crisp (no elevator necessary, your message is delivered before they know what hit ‘em), you can make decisions easier. In our case, will hiring that new employee help us get customers for our clients? If yes, hire! If no, do something else.