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How to present your business as smart in 15 seconds for someone you don´t know

Let's pretend that you are at a conference or at a network party (or even in an elevator) and someone asks what you do - what do you say?

Have you heard about the “Elevator speech”? We can translate it to elevator pitches, and it's one of your most important working tools to show the world what you do in a prompt manner. An elevator presentation is a very short, creative description of what you do - and it should be exciting for the listener. It's called an “Elevator speech” because you should be able to present your business to anyone in an elevator that moves from one floor to another.

Here are some tips on what you need to give a quick and attractive elevator presentation:
Describe what you sell, who you help, why you are helping people and who the people behind the company  are – something that makes you get a chance to contact the person.

I have a publishing company and my elevator presentation sounds like this:
”I have a publisher company for small business owners. All books we publish contain practical advice for solving common problems that small businesses have. We have published some 40 books to date and we have around 40 000 customers today. If you want I can send a link to my website where there are also plenty of free articles on marketing for small business owners.”
(The last – the offer to send a link - is my attempt to get permission to contact you. Never forget that point).

Here are the pitfalls you should watch out for (and the mistakes far too many make):

The dull list trap
Don't talk about EVERYTHING you sell.
”We sell plastic nipples, alarms, industrial cleaning and service truck cooling systems”.
That's not interesting. It's just BORING!

The far too general description trap
A person might say:
”We sell software to companies”(just like a million other companies).
Instead of being too general, you can add a little magic. For example:
”We free up to 10 extra hours a week for our customers”.
That makes it a bit more exciting, right? How do they do that? You can't help but wonder ...

Your job this week:
Write your own elevator presentation and practice telling it in front of a mirror. You will get plenty of opportunities to use it soon.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.