How a business owner should summarise their business in 60 seconds
The best business book I’ve come across in the last few months is “Grow Your Service Firm” by Robert Craven. Robert is a UK based business author and consultant and incidentally puts up a lot of great Twitter posts.
What I really like is that the book is a series of two or three page chapters all linked with a common thread. For lazy readers (like me) it means you can dip in and out of the book and pick out little nuggets that apply to you or perhaps for one of your clients businesses.
You only get 60 seconds?
One such nugget that really rang true with me is a chapter on the subject of “The One Minute Introduction” (page 45 if you have the book!).
This is a subtle diversion from the “Elevator Pitch” which is the usual way of how a business owner would summarise their business in 60 seconds while they share a lift to the top of the Empire State Building (or should that be The Shard?) with Richard Branson.
This approach is applied in networking meetings and hotel lifts across the world – with varying degrees of success.
Find the Hurt
Robert makes the critical point that your target customer is far more likely to remember you if you can identify their ‘hurt’ and tell them how you can relieve them of that ‘hurt’. This is a much stronger call to action than just saying “I’m a graphic designer and we design really good logos”. Robert calls this a “moving away from” motivation.
For example, most people give up smoking because they don’t want to die, and they are fed up with their clothes and breath smelling. These are stronger calls to action than nice “moving towards” motivations like feeling healthier and tasting your food better.
The One Minute Introduction
Here is the formula to develop your own killer One Minute Introduction.
We work with…
Who have a problem with…
What we do is….
So that ….
Which means that….
Let’s pick a graphic design firm and see how this might work in practice.
1. We work with…(be specific about the type of business, age of business, type of person)
“We work with family run businesses in the plumbing and building trades in Edinburgh and Fife…..”
2. Who have a problem with (this is where you have to focus on the HURT)
“who have a problem with standing out from the competition”
3. What we do is (where you explain how your service solves this problem)
“What we do is redesign their logos, brochures and website for a fixed fee, with a particular emphasis on using bright colours and quirky graphics”
4. So that (a simple explanation of the function that the customer gets)
“so that the business has a consistent and modern image which looks great”
5. Which means that (this is where you list the benefits)
“which means that our customers feel proud of the way their business looks, and in turn has increased their own profile and sales numbers”
Bringing this all together……
“I’m Mary from Impact Graphic Designers. We work with family run businesses in the building trades in Edinburgh and Fife, who have a problem with standing out from the competition. What we do is redesign their logos, brochure and website for a fixed fee, with a particular emphasis on using bright colours and quirky graphics, so that the business has a consistent and modern image which looks great, which means that our customers feel proud of the way their business looks, and in turn increase their own profile and sales numbers”.
“I’m Dave from Leaky Plumbing. We work with busy private landlords across central Scotland who have a problem with tenants and letting agents nagging them about dripping taps and radiators that don’t work properly. What we do is liaise with the tenant by text message to arrange a convenient time to do the repair and charge the landlord a transparent fee, so that the problem is fixed without it turning in to a crisis, which means that the landlord has a happy tenant, and doesn’t have the stress of having to arrange the repair themselves”.
Give this formula a try, maybe with one or two of your team members (or even your accountant) and you could have a new “One Minute Introduction” down on paper in the time it takes to drink the morning coffee. Please do share your One Minute Introductions with us!