Why “What do you do?” is So Important

By July 17, 2018 February 9th, 2019 No Comments
executives in a variety of scenarios - talking, collaborating, discussing, writing, on the telephone, all sharing business information, underscoring importance of elevator pitch

With one of our newer clients, I was talking about the importance of a compelling and inspiring elevator pitch/elevator speech. Brian is the SVP of sales and his company has been growing about 75% year over year. They really haven’t had to compete very much and as such didn’t need a suite of sales and marketing materials until now. The company is graduating from its 8(a) status. Now, it is imperative the company invest in a variety of resources, sales and marketing being some of the most important.

In talking with Brian, I discussed that his employees encounter many opportunities to tell others about their job and your organization, sometimes by chance and for some, by design. In my experience, these opportunities almost always begin with the question, “What do you do?” A well-crafted brand story can lead to more sales, more clients, and other top-line business results.


Many people think the elevator pitch is only for networking. In reality, your elevator pitch is much, much more.  It is your core business story, your mission statement, your brand story. Done well, it becomes part of your organization’s culture.


Your elevator pitch should quickly and compellingly convey the attributes of your brand in a way that resonates with your target audiences. In a way that these audiences should respond with, “Tell me more!”

All of your sales, development, outreach, marketing, and communication materials should stem from your one, elevator pitch. It should be synchronized across your ENTIRE organization.  Examples include:

  • “About Us” statement – on your website, in press releases, and presentations
  • Social media profiles – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube
  • Sales scripts
  • Conference booth signage
  • Your recruiting messages, especially for strategic hires
  • Referrals for prospective customers, sponsors, members
  • And many more…

Photography Source:  DepositPhotos

Ira Koretsky

About Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after global speaker, trainer, consultant, and executive communication coach.