How to explain what your business does

About 6 months after I started in business, I remember attending a sales course. I had one specific question and to my utter frustration, it wasn’t answered on this course. You see, I had been attending a lot of networking events and the favourite question there is “so, what do you do?”

My problem was that I didn’t know how to explain what I did so that everyone quickly and easily understands and wants to know more.

I eventually overcame this problem, through reading books and attending more courses and of course, practice. But I hope my tips in this article can help you overcome this quicker than I did.

Let’s start by looking at what happens what someone asks you what you do.

Most people (if we’re truly honest about this) don’t care about what YOU do. They only care about what their business does. However, they have to ask this question because 1) they’re being polite and 2) they want to find out if you’re a potential customer for them.

And once they leave the networking event, they’ll go back to thinking about what’s for dinner, or when they need to pick the kids up or their next meeting.

So, the only way what you say to them is going to stick in their head is if you talk about THEM. Agreed?

Now, the next time you go to a networking event, just pay attention to what people say. It will usually go something along these lines “I do this….”; “in my business, we do…” etc. All most business owners talk about is THEMSELVES.

But, as we’ve just established above, the person who you’re talking to doesn’t care about YOU. They care about themselves too. So, when you’re talking to them, you have to only care about THEM as well.

How do you do this? Well, start by writing down on some paper, all the common issues, problems and frustrations that your customers face. Within this, you’ll probably find two or three key problems that you can talk about.

Now, deliberately focus on these problems and put them into a short paragraph that you can use when you talk to people. Within your paragraph, don’t forget to explain how you resolve these problems too.

For instance, I know that most small business owners don’t like marketing that much and want easy ways to find more customers. So, when I’m asked what I do, here’s what I say:

“We do marketing for small business owners. Most small business owners don’t like marketing that much. They find it hard work, time consuming, frustrating and often very costly. What we do is throw the marketing rule book out of the window and find low cost or even free marketing ideas that actually work for people.”

I can elaborate on this by saying what type of projects we get involved in, but hopefully you get the point. If a small business owner talks to me and hates marketing for the above reasons, I can see them nodding along to what I say and in their mind they’ve said “yes, I want to talk more to this person.”

If they’re not a small business owner or love marketing, they won’t want to talk to me further. And that’s ultimately where you want to get to when you’re explaining what you do – for someone to either be saying to themselves “yes, I’m a potential customer” or “no, I’m not”. It will make your job so much easier.

On the basis of that short speech, I have had people ringing me up the next day to arrange a meeting. Try it and see if it will work for your business too.


Exceptional Thinking ( provides help and advice for small business owners on their marketing and to people starting up in business. To get your free audio on "Should you use email marketing in your business?" visit

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