When we first meet someone in a social situation, whether professional or personal, we are often asked the same question:“What do you do for a living?” If you are in the labour market and employed, the answer will usually be the company you work for and your occupation. If you are self-employed, this is an opportunity to elaborate on what you do and who you do it for.
For example, an entrepreneur could answer,“I provide solutions/benefits to my customer/target market”. While we would never say this sentence aloud as an answer, it does provide a framework in which to formulate a meaningful answer.
Take time today to work on your “elevator pitch”. You have approximately 30 seconds to formulate and deliver your pitch. While you don’t want to look scripted, you can still provide information on how you help your customers.
In his short YouTube clip on the elevator pitch, business planning expert Tim Berry suggests telling a story – try to humanize the problem that your business solves. The goal is to provide enough information about you and your business without making it sound like a “sales pitch”. Additionally, the response could leave them wanting to know more and asking follow up questions.
So before you leave for your next networking event or social engagement, take some time to develop your “elevator pitch”. After a few revisions, you will develop an answer that rolls off the tongue and sounds natural. Try it on friends and family first as a test. They will provide you with honest feedback. Remember, there is no magic formula. Be yourself, as you are your business.