First off, I wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who reads this blog. Honestly, I didn’t know. I am not a anaylitics person and comments aren’t super common on my blog so I had no idea how many of you were actually reading. I actually got the opprotunity to meet 50ish of you this weekend at WDS. I literally went back to my airbnb and cried because I was so taken aback by hearing all of the great stories about what you have learned and what this blog has helped you accomplished. SO MUCH love to you. I do what I do because I am obsessed with my work and I am glad that it’s getting out there.

 

Ok, back to regularly scheduled programing.

 

So, I am going to give you my fool-proof trick for introducing yourself to people, EVEN if you don’t have a fancy cocktail line yet. Take some notes, my friend.

 

As we know, that dreaded question: “What do you do?” is difficult when you don’t have clarity about it yet ( oh, there is a class for that, yo).  We don’t always have the luxury of being clear when we meet new people and we can’t always wait for it either. Sometimes we just gotta get out there and find it.

This little method is SO easy that you won’ t even believe it.

Ready?

Ask them what THEY do first.

So, for example: you are at a networking event with other small businesses and you meet Jane. Jane says she owns a house cleaning service for residential buildings.

 

Let’s pretend you work with women who are going through big transitions in their lives. ( A litle vague but we aren’t crystal clear yet, right?)

 

Once she tells you what she does, you use that information to introduce yourself. Instead of telling her what you do, you’ll show her.

 

Example of what you could say:

 

“Ok, say that your business is going really well but you are REALLY ready to make the transition to big office complexes. I would help you first get your mindset right for this big leap AND give you the tools and resources you need to get there.

 

BOOM. Jane totally gets that! It’s about HER, after all!

 

Jane will be so freakin’ impressed that she will ask to learn more and a conversation that might have been open and shut becomes a potential sale. That’s networking.

 

Why this works:

 

People LOVE to talk about themselves and if you let them go first, you’ll be able to use what other info they get as material for your introduction.

 

Not only are you telling them what you do but you are also giving them information about how you can help them. This is ALSO a great tool for getting clarity. 10 minute conversations with people are a great way to truly KNOW what your people need and why. Follow up by asking questions about what they do.

 

You are also giving yourself the opportunity to work beyond the typical cocktail line and really talk about what you do in a more meaningful way. It’s all about service.

 

Try to go to network events where you KNOW you will meet potential clients. That makes this method even MORE effective.

 

Try it with me for practice:

 

Hi. I’m Shenee and I am a brand engagement expert. I help entrepreneurs build unforgettable brands online through classes and 1-on-1 work.

 

Now, what do you do? How could you help me?

 

And don’t forget, I released my first e-book. Check it out here.  

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15 thoughts on “How to talk about what you do (even if you don't know yet)

  1. LOVE this – as a *cough cough* life coach, I am constantly looking for ways to make my work more relateable to THEIR lives.  Especially for those of us with ‘jargon-y’ businesses/careers/offerings, it’s way useful to start speaking your potential customers languages…STAT!

    Posted on July 10, 2012 at 10:28 pm
    1.  @EllenErcolini 🙂 You were one of my inspirations! haha. Life coaches would be great for this method 🙂

      Posted on July 11, 2012 at 3:30 pm
  2. I just love your words of wisdom! I will start using this right away
     

    Posted on July 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm
    1.  @SherryShone 🙂 YAY, let me know how it goes!

      Posted on July 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm
  3. First, I love your intro about not being aware who’s reading your work and the level of reach you may have due to lack of comments. I check my analytics maybe once every other month, and I’m always surprised to see readers from Eastern Europe or South Asia. But when it comes to comments, it’s usually the same 3 or 4 people over and over again.
     
    Not complaining, because I’m guilty of reading w/o commenting myself. But it’s always a pleasant shot-in-the-arm to know that you’re not writing in a vacuum. Congrats on your positive feedback!
     
    Second, I’m going to a networking event tonight downtown. I’m gonna try your method. It’s not really a client-getting event, but I’m gonna use it anyway to see if I can develop a smooth intro. Saying “I’m a freelance writer” is pretty succinct, but it’s also vague. And since I’m shaky when it comes to discussing business in social settings, I need all the help I can get. 🙂

    Posted on July 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm
    1.  @Incandescere  Yeah, I get an average of about 3-5 comments + 10-12 shares for each post so I had NO IDEA. haha. I need to pay better attention. My numbers are actually pretty great right now which is awesome. 
       
      LET ME KNOW HOW IT GOES!

      Posted on July 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm
  4. Love this post!   Letting someone else talk first is such a polite way of doing business.  🙂

    Posted on July 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm
  5. Girl, we are SO on the same wavelength, was JUST sharing this tip to someone this morning when talking about the oft-feared “networking” word! LOVE!

    Posted on July 12, 2012 at 11:19 pm
  6. This is AWESOME! And I am so going to apply it when people ask me that question (which is pretty often).
     
    And Hi, I’m Jia Ni and I’m a health coach. I can help you feel more energized, more radiant, more vibrant and feel beautiful from the inside and out so that you can bring your business to the NEXT level!! 😉
     
    xoxo

    Posted on July 13, 2012 at 3:43 am
  7. Hi Shenee. I loved this post and this is so practical. As an introvert I often find it difficult to deliver the ‘elevator pitch’ so this is a really good alternative from making it about you to helping her as you say in a way that delivers value. I have honestly never heard of this before so thanks for a great tip. Love your work!

    Posted on July 13, 2012 at 11:23 am
  8. I’m going to try this next time I have to introduce myself.  Having just changed what I do it’s taking me a wee while to get comfortable saying “Hi I’m Tabitha and I help goddesses create peace, passion and purpose after life change or crisis”  I definately need more practise both in this and in thinking how I can relate it to others. 

    Posted on July 15, 2012 at 7:47 pm
    1.  @TabithaJayne I like that, though. Who doesn’t like to be called a goddess? 

      Posted on July 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm
  9. I am so in the middle of not sure of what I label myself as so this tip is great and a great way to change the tables around. Thanks!

    Posted on July 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm
    1.  @ReneePena yay! let me know how it works for you! 

      Posted on July 18, 2012 at 9:43 pm
  10. hey Shenee,
    love your insights. get it, girl!

    Posted on November 9, 2012 at 5:46 am