3 Reasons You Struggle With Your Elevator Speech (and what to do about it)

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virtual networking, elevator speech, Zoom meeting


Here’s the scenario:  You’re at an in-person or virtual event or meeting and suddenly someone asks you, “What do you do?”

Suddenly, you’re in the hot seat. And, you have less than 60 seconds to say what you do. You blurt out something boring. And you can tell no one was actually listening.

What’s worse, you feel like you just blew an opportunity to make a great first impression. 

I had suffered through so many painfully boring elevator speeches that a few years ago I began doing elevator speech workshops where I teach people how to fix their elevator speech – and get their most desirable clients and customers to listen to them.

Here are three of the top reasons you may struggle with your elevator speech – and how you can fix it in a way that’s natural and totally authentic: 

3 Reasons You Struggle With Your Elevator Speech (and what to do about it)

    1. You underplay the value you bring to your ideal customers and clients:

      Even if your product or service is readily available from other companies, only you do it exactly your way. So, instead of saying, “I’m a financial adviser,” say something like this, “I’m a financial advisor who works with attorneys who are 5-10 years away from retirement and are afraid they won’t be able to keep up their lifestyle after they stop practicing law.”

      See the difference? 

    2. You’re great at explaining what you do, but you don’t explain why someone should choose you:

      We all want to tell the world what we do – but the truth is no one cares what you do…they care what you can do for them. If you struggle with your elevator speech it’s probably because you’re excited to tell your audience what you do. But they really want to hear what you can do for them (or people they know).

      Instead of saying, “We’ve been in business for 30 years” you could say “We’ve been in business for 30 years and that makes us the most successful company in our market. We’ve solved (this problem) for hundreds of people like you and have the expertise to solve it for you, too.”

      See the difference? 

    3. You aren’t totally clear about who is your most desirable client or customer:

      I work with a lot of B2Bs. When I first ask them to describe their ideal client or customer, I usually get answers like this, “We work with companies that have 100-500 employees.” Or, “Businesses that do over $10 million in annual revenue.” Companies and businesses are entities and they don’t make decisions.It’s the people who work in companies make decisions. A better way is something like this: “We help team leaders at large organizations fix problems that stem from issues around culture, conflict, and diversity. With us on board, they can focus on the things that move the organization forward  and do what they were hired to do.” 

    1. See the difference? 

Here’s what people who used to struggle with their elevator speech had to say after attending the workshop:

  • Real Estate Agent: “I realized that my best clients are renters who are new to the area and ready to buy their first home in this area. I never clearly saw that until now.”
  • Interior Designer: “I thought my ideal clients were all women. Boy, was I wrong! During the workshop, I discovered that my best clients are men. What a shock!”
  • Owner of a Healthcare Company: “This made me realize that when people ask me what we do, I totally downplayed our company’s most valuable benefit – which is actually so important, it’s part of our corporate name). Crazy!”
  • Financial Advisor: “I never thought about saying that I have a master’s degree in financial planning during elevator speech It was right in front of me, and I didn’t see it til now!”

The next time you have less than a minute to explain what you do, think about the tips above. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

betsy kent

*(If you make decisions for a company or organization and think a virtual elevator speech workshop could benefit your team, reach out to me at betsy@bevisible.co)

Free Consult For Entrepreneurs – Set up a quick 30-min call with me and I’ll give you a tip about your ideal customers that you never thought of before! Schedule below: 


Betsy Kent

Betsy Kent

I've guided hundreds of clients through my signature process and formula and as a result, they’ve generated millions of dollars in new business revenue with more ease and confidence than ever before. THE CHANGE IS MILLIONS.

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