A Step-By-Step Guide to Answering, “What do you do?”

Going to events and trade shows is a great way to put your business out there and generate leads. But if you find yourself rambling for 15 minutes instead of talking up your successes, you may be in need of a more prepared approach. The most significant struggle for trade show attendees is their sales elevator pitch, but with a little practice and this step-by-step guide, you can kill it at your next event.

 

Start Strong

Let’s start writing. As a whole, people don’t have long attention spans. So, you need to make every word count. Start your pitch with an alarming statistic or a poignant question. Something to get their minds working and capture their full attention. “Did you know that 80% of businesses that experience noncompliance fines permanently close their doors 2 years later? My company—X Corp—helps you meet compliance to prevent becoming a statistic.”

 

Describe Your Company & Value Deliverables

Who are you and what can you do for your customers? What real value and benefits do you offer? This is where you set brief, but realistic expectations. Think of it as a unique value statement. Describe who you are, what services or outcomes you provide, who your target audience is and how you’re different from other companies.

 

Spotlight Your Achievements

Now is your time to shine… talk about your business strengths and showcase your successes. How you humble-brag is up to you—new clients, billable hours, revenue, business growth, awards, partners, sales or other achievements. The most important part of this step is highlighting your wins and future growth. Give them something to believe in, and a partner they want to grow with.

 

Edit… Then Edit Again

Look at what you’ve written, then take a giant red marker (or another editing tool of choice) and start trimming it up. Take out unnecessary words, phrases or information to make your pitch concise, powerful and effective. Limit or eliminate jargon to make it easier to comprehend. Read it out loud and edit for time. Get it down to 30 seconds… 20… 15. The shorter and more impactful, the better.

 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Learn your pitch inside and out. Learn the 60-second pitch for when you have more time, but master the art of a 15-second pitch for when you’re crunched. Refine your pitch for how you typically speak and regularly ask for feedback. Don’t worry about sounding too polished; let your pitch come naturally and update your speech as you gain more success.

If you’re already conversing and making a genuine connection with your audience, don’t risk bringing your pitch into the exchange. Just remain conversational. Find out what the other person does and show genuine interest in their work. You’ll find people are eager to share their challenges and goals—ones you’ll hopefully be able to help them with. But, for those opportunities to deliver your pitch, go confidentially into the conversation knowing these elevator pitch tips and steps have prepared you to answer the question, “What do you do?”

Need help polishing the perfect elevator pitch or looking for professional feedback? Contact us. We’re happy to help.

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