You meet someone for the first time and at some point in the conversation, in one way or another, they ask, What Do You Do?

You probably answer that question or a similar question every day … maybe several times a day. If you are like most people, you answer with your title or your job function.

“I’m a printer.” “I’m an accountant.” “I’m an attorney specializing in blahblahblah.” The likely response to any of these is, “Oh.”

A label or job title is static – that makes it a conversation stopper. And depending on what your label or job title is, it just might make people’s eyes glaze over. “I’m a social media marketer at XYZ firm.” YIKES!

Here’s an idea that will make your introductions more compelling. Instead of telling us what you are, tell us the benefit your clients get from the work you do.

How about … “I work with business owners who want to find their clients online.” Or “I show people how to Tweet their way to profitable relationships.” More engaging, right? Now a person might want to know more about what you do, how you do it … and who you do it for. They might even be starting to think about what you could do for them. And that’s the ultimate goal.

One issue is that we introduce ourselves so often; it’s easy to default to what our business card says. It’s automatic. For some people, it’s even robotic.

And we may be too attached to our label, especially if it’s a label we worked long and hard for. Getting that certification, finishing that course or passing that CPA exam was no mean feat. A person can get very insistent about laying claim to the title.

But think for a moment about why you introduce yourself at a networking event, or a professional association meeting, or your kid’s soccer game. You want to create a connection, right? You want to lay the groundwork for getting to know each other better.

To increase your chances of developing a relationship, talk about you … by making it about them. Focus on the value you provide to your clients. Not the process you engage in, but the results they get from it.

And the more concrete you can be about those results, the better. As my friend Rob Schultz of Profit Seduction says, “The bigger the outcome, the bigger the income.”

So …
• You’re a copywriter. What do people get when they work with you?
• You’re a professional organizer. How does someone benefit from your approach?
• You’re a transformational empowerment coach. Okay, there’s a coach on every corner. What’s different about the results your clients get?

When you have your answer, I’d love to hear it. Post a comment below and tell us how you describe the outcome of what you do for your clients or customers.


Guest Blogger:

Catherine Johns coaches entrepreneurs and professionals who want to get more clients, have more impact and make more money.

You might remember Catherine from Chicago radio.
She worked with legends like Larry Lujack, Fred Winston and John Landecker.

Since she broke out of the broadcasting boys’ club,
Catherine’s been guiding executives and entrepreneurs to
speak up … stand out … and make their message more magnetic.
Because that’s how they influence their audience to take action.

Catherine is the author of Show Up and Shine: Simple Steps to Boost Your Confidence and Charisma.

Why 9 out of 10 Introductions Go In One Ear and Out the Other
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