Marketing Magic: Summarize Your Value

Posted on by in Reading Between the Lines

“In seven or eight words tell me what your business does.”

Marketing Magic by Don Debelak, page 156

As simple as this exercise sounds, I am betting it will give you a major pain in your neck. As a matter of fact, and please do not overreact when I say, the chances are better than good that you don’t know what you do. Don’t fret. You are in very good company.

This quote reminded me of the Elevator Speech that grew in popularity over the last twenty years. In fact, I wrote a Special Report of the same name some years ago and found that my information was very much in demand. It was written to steer entrepreneurs towards clarity in defining their company’s position in the big picture.

Click on the book to grab your own copy of "Marketing Magic"

Click on the book to grab your own copy of “Marketing Magic”

Today’s quote tightens up that assignment a notch or two. Let’s see how well you do at telling me exactly what you do in less than ten words. Go ahead. Give it a shot.

Here is how to do it:

Write your answer without worrying about the number of words. Just get your initial thoughts down on paper. Start with a verb followed by your target market. “I help single parents…”

“I provide families…”

“I work with travel agents…”

Follow with a brief explanation of your service:

“Save money…”

“Choose the right destination…”

“Alleviate pain…”

So, what does your business do? “I help travel agents grow their businesses by utilizing the tools they already have.” By way of example, this response consists of 14 words. How can we whittle it down to eight? I help travel agents grow by maximizing resources. (Eight words)

These eight words may not be enough to paint the appropriate picture, but this exercises forces you to think. If you decide to toss in a few more words to further clarify your response, so be it.

The bottom line is to give this exercise a little thought so you don’t find yourself “winging” an answer when the question does surface. Of course you do not want to be ambiguous, but just as important, you do not want to bore the inquirer to tears by giving them a self-serving data dump.


Mike presents a business-building webinar on the third Thursday of every month sponsored by AmaWaterways. To receive monthly invitations send Mike an email with the words “business training” in the Subject Box. You will also receive a link to the recorded version.

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