Good question!, you say to yourself.
It’s the standard opening line at every Chamber mixer, every professional conference, every networking luncheon you ever go to. Comes up pretty often at Little League games, neighborhood barbecues, and hair salons too.
In fact, it comes up so often that you’d think we’d know how to answer it, wouldn’t you? But if you’re an entrepreneur, the answer to that simple question may not be so simple.
Do you give an essay when someone asks what you do? Or do you oss off a label, like “attorney.” or “coach”?
I’m always tempted to say, “Well, TODAY I’m…” because who I am and “what I do” is a ever evolving thing.:)
Yet, knowing how to answer that question – and answer it well – is golden for you. It’s can create an open door, an invitation that could set the stage for good things down the road.
Being prepared for the question forces you to get crystal clear on who you really help, and what kind of difference you really make.
But it also presents an opportunity to position yourself and your expertise. In fact, done well, your response could lead the way to a new relationship with a solid prospect – and even new business.
What do your premium clients pay you for your best work? $1,000? $5,000? $25,000? That’s what you stand to gain if you do this well.
Think about it.
I’m talking about what’s often called an “elevator speech”, that super short, crystal clear introduction you can toss off in the time it takes you to ride up to the 5th floor. It’s a well known concept – and one that’s easy to blow off.
Don’t make that mistake.
There are three critical aspects of an elevator speech to keep in mind.
1. There is no “perfect formula”.
A lot of business coaches will tell you they have THE formula that works every time, but that’s baloney – regardless of the title of this article. :)
There are, in fact, several ways to craft your introduction. Different styles work for different situations, and some will work better than others for your personality, or your business.
Experiment, and find the one that works best for you.
2. This isn’t a commercial.
So don’t sound like one!
Introducing yourself in a way that feels real – and is, means practicing. A lot. Once you settle on your basic message, practice it while you’re driving around town. Say it to your family at dinner. Try it out on your colleagues at lunch.
Your goal should be to reach the point that you can rattle this off as naturally as you do the latest weather report or your plans for the weekend.
3. Think strategically.
There are ways to be natural, to introduce yourself as a human being, and STILL set the stage for a great conversation with a potential prospect. And do it in a way that invites curiosity.
Aim for a easy, elegant way to mention your ideal client (who you help), their greatest challenge (that you help them solve), and what it is about you that’s just not like anyone else out there.
If they ask, “Wow! How do you do that?!” you’ve been invited in for a deeper conversation, and that’s where the magic happens.
To help you, I’ve put together a worksheet to walk you through the process, working through a variety of formats. Click HERE to access that worksheet.
(This simple download is my gift to you – no sign up required – so I hope you’ll USE it!)
It’s designed so you can write your thoughts right on your computer. Or, if you’re a pen and paper kind of person, print it out and fill it in. Be prepared to go through several drafts!
Now here’s your homework.
Once you’ve completed the worksheet, and settled on your favorite method, practice on me.
Oh hi! Nice to meet you! So what do you do?