“What Do You Do?”: How To Be Interesting & Relevant
When meeting someone for the first time, do you ever struggle with what to say when you get asked the question, “What do you do?”
For those that sometimes stumble answering this question- “what do you do?”, I have a simple strategy for you. I learned this about ten years ago, and it has helped me.
My strategy is to ask myself “What do I already know about this person?” before answering the, “What do you do” question.
Based on what I know or what I can reasonably assume about the person asking, I tailor my answer to what might interest and be relevant to them in some way.
Here are a couple of examples of how this works:
Meeting someone (let’s call her Sally) at a networking event and Sally has shared that her business is a network marketing company, and she has been doing it for less than one year. Before I answer her question of “What do you do,” I ask myself what are some of the common concerns that come up for someone in network marketing.
- Potential stigma attached to network marketing
- Recruiting is essential to growth
- Being able to ask people to host parties or events
Now based on these three things, I tailor my answer to Sally and say,
“I teach business owners how to create curiosity with prospective clients as well as give them language to invite people to do business with them, host parties, etc. without coming across pushy or salesy.”
Meeting Chris at a networking event and Chris shares that she’s been in real estate for the last ten years. Chris then asks me the question, “What do you do, Nikki?”
I take a moment to think of some possible challenges Chris may face in her business.
- There’s a lot of competition
- Very few people she meets are looking to buy or sell a house at that very moment
- People looking to buy or sell a house may already know a realtor.
With those concerns in mind, I tailor my answer to Chris by saying,
“I work with people that want to learn simple yet powerful skills to set themselves apart from everyone else doing what they do. I teach how to develop rapport and long term client relationships so that when people are ready to buy, you are the person they call. As you know, people buy from people they know, like and trust. I teach people how to increase their likeability, credibility, and trustability.”
When I put this strategy into place ten years ago, a good customer of mine said to me, “You know Nikki, you never give the same presentation twice. You always share the important details; you just do it differently for each customer. How can you tailor your message for everyone you meet?”
My answer was and still is, “I ask myself, what do I already know about the person in front of me and how can I tailor my message to be interesting and relevant to him/her?”
This strategy takes a little more effort than giving your standard 30-second elevator pitch.
Is it worth the effort to connect with more people and expand your reach for new clients? If so, I invite you to give it a try and let me know how it goes.
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