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So, what do you do?" This question usually surfaces at some point during an initial conversation with a new acquaintance. Surprisingly, few people know how to respond or introduce their product or service in a way that builds their business or network, without appearing overly aggressive or desperate.
You have probably been asked this question dozens of times. Often enough, the response isn't given much thought. You may reply, "I am an attorney," or "I am in sales," or "I own a business," or "I am a financial planner, (consultant, coach, doctor, CPA, account executive, manager, recruiter)." I've even seen people stumble to get the answer out as if they weren't sure themselves of what it is they do.
On the other hand, those people that walk away from a social event, networking function or trade show with a list of new contacts are the ones who have spent the time preparing an opening dialogue and an intelligent response to this question.
Developing Your Laser Introduction
Here's a technique to assist you in opening up a conversation and new opportunities that will increase your network and client base, while leaving a lasting impression.
The Laser Introduction: I recently asked one of my clients who was a consultant to describe her services. She said, "I help my clients with their business." When I asked her to explain in one sentence the benefits her clients realize or the end result they experience after using her services, she had a hard time finding the words. When creating your laser introduction, begin by focusing on the service you provide to your clients. How do you describe the product or service that you provide? You could opt for something generic, as described above. However, you can have a greater impact by delivering a message that will spark further interest in the person with whom you are speaking.
After all, the term "laser" describes a "devise that emits a highly focused beam of light (or more specifically "a beam of synchronized single wavelength radiation")." Here's your chance to develop your own focused beam of prospecting brilliance that illuminates, clarifies and brings to life every networking or prospecting opportunity you uncover.
When creating a laser introduction, begin by identifying some of your client's challenges. Then, describe how your product or service provides solutions to those challenges.
Begin with the phrase, "You know how:" followed by a couple of common problems that your clients normally experience. Then follow up by saying, "What I do is:" and continue with one or two key points, benefits, value propositions, compelling reasons or MVP's (most valuable proposition) as they relate to how your product or service solves these problems.
For example, if you are a sales trainer or consultant, here's an example of what the dialogue between you and a potential prospect might sound like.
Prospect: "So what do you do?"
You: "Well, you know how some sales teams experience high turnover and struggle to meet their sales goals as well as find new prospects which ends up costing the company time and money?"
Prospect: "Yes. I'm actually going through that myself with my company."
Tip from the Coach: Allow the person to respond, demonstrating you have their attention and that they are interested in what you have to say. Then respond with the following statement.
You: "Well, what I do is help businesses improve their bottom line and bring in more sales by getting their salespeople in front of more targeted, qualified prospects."
Prospect: "Hmm. That's interesting. So, how do you actually do that?"
Notice that I did not tell them what I sell or do or even the specifics of how I go about achieving these results. I simply shared with them the end results they can realize.
Using this approach, you have not only clarified the results you can deliver, but you have opened the door for further discussion about similar challenges that the perso