Have you ever become tongue-tied when someone asks, “So, what do you do?” Have you stumbled over your words then walked away feeling like you just botched a great business opportunity? In marketing-speak how you respond to that question is called your elevator speech. The only thing stopping you from taking advantage of those quick opportunities to get new business is preparation.

I’ve put together some elevator speech tips that will keep you from feeling like a bumbling idiot when what you really want is to hear: “OMG, I need you!” or “OMG, I know someone who needs you!”.

If you’ve already drilled down and created your ideal client prototype, this is pretty easy. But even if you haven’t, these elevator speech tips will still help:

  1. First, write down as many characteristics as you can think of about your ideal client. Your ideal client is the person who immediately sees value in what you have to offer and is willing and able to pay you for it.
    (You want more of them, right?)
    If you already have or have had a client that fits this description, use her as your model.
  2. Next, go to LinkedIn and find a photo of that client. If she’s not a real person then use a photo of someone who could be your ideal client. Tape the photo it to a spot where you can see it from your desk.
  3. Now, make a list of words that describe how your ideal client feels right now, as it relates to what you have to offer. In most cases, your list will include icky feelings like worry, frustration, fear, anxiety, scarcity, etc.While you’re doing this, keep glancing at your ideal client’s photo. and pretend she just asked you to tell her about your business.
  4. Next, make a list of how she wants to feel (or would rather feel) that relates to what you offer. Safe? Wealthy? Calm? Happier?
  5. Now, jot down what you do to get her there. Do you use a specific approach or therapy? Is there a course or program you offer? What’s your special sauce?
  6. Finally, put it all together and see what you come up with.

Use these elevator speech tips to create a couple different versions and practice them until they fall trippingly off your tongue.

Over time you’ll notice your elevator speech will change. It will morph and get even better. And you’ll learn how to quickly adjust it according to where you are and to whom you’re speaking.

Try it! You’ll be amazed at the reaction you get, especially from people who are just like your ideal clients.