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5 questions I had to answer to nail my elevator pitch

5 questions I had to answer to nail my elevator pitch


I’ve been in the business of translation for quite some time now. Every time somebody asks me what I do, I answer, “I do translations” or more recently “I manage a translation company”. How dull, no excitement there and there should be plenty. I really love what I do and I love it because I love words. So how come I don’t have savvy words to say what I do and that I do it with passion?

It’s not my first attempt to build a meaningful, sincere yet catchy elevator pitch that I could actually use. I fail each time.

My first was “I help companies communicate worldwide”. Ehh? Que? Not clear enough.

My second was more elaborate “I help companies communicate with the rest of the world by providing high quality translations”. Blah. I don’t think I ever actually said it except once to a cab driver. Then I blushed and shut up. He didn’t ask any more questions.

My third, fourth and following were all useless, too pompous, too commercial-like, too enigmatic. All wrong.

Now I’m working on something new and since I almost like it I decided to publish it and see how it presents itself. Any comments appreciated.

To write it I had to think of;

1. The value our translations give to clients.

The value has to be direct or next to direct. Boost in sales is better than money. Lower costs is better than savings. The value has to be positive. Timely deliveries rather than fewer delays. And the value must be personal. It must be something that matters to the person I’m dealing with rather than to the whole organization.

2. Who needs my translations?

Here I tried to be as specific as possible. Since I work on translation projects from all fields and types of industry I decided to give an example.

3. How they find me?

This makes my story sound real. It is real, of course. But giving a detail like this makes it less commercial sounding. Also, it shows the channels I use to find my clients. I chose this particular story, because LinkedIn is a place for personal contact.

4. What problems I solve for them?

If you are in sales you are more interested in your clients’ problems than in your solutions when you talk to prospects. So it’s obvious that I had to focus on their problem especially that in my next step….

5. Why they stay with us?

…I want to say how our translations made them happy and why. Again, as a salesperson you need to know the change you are bringing to your clients.

Having said that much, here it goes:

– Nice to meet you, Agata! So what do you do?

– I help companies reach and grow global presence by saying what they mean in foreign languages. We offer a variety of language solutions, so let me give you an example. Recently an IT company contacted me through LinkedIn. They were looking for a quality oriented translation provider for their international marketing department. We read through their past publications, gave it a go and sent them a test translation. They liked it and now they can be sure the materials they publish worldwide will say exactly what they mean and will serve the purpose.

Would you keep my business card?

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