When someone asks you "So what do you do? you might have only 10 seconds to reply. The one question you need to ask yourself (I share it below) will help you to get crystal clear on how to respond to that "what do you do?" question with confidence and a dash of panache.
Typically, elevator speeches are usually around 30 seconds but what if the person is only going up a couple of floors? I like to have a few versions prepared. You might want to create a 10, 30 and 90 second option. If you nail the 10-second version, the others will be a breeze, and it's a great place to start.
Coaches and professionals around the world often break out into a sweat when someone asks "What do you do?"
Do you stammer and stutter and mumble something under your breath? Something like
“I’m a coach, and I help people have great lives.”
“I help women gain confidence” I’m a life coach
“I help business people in their business” I’m a business consultant (Ouch!)
Not very memorable are they, especially if you only have a couple of minutes to get your message across. Have you ever suffered from the cringe factor? Yeh, me too!
Even ‘Gurus’ get stuck
A colleague of mine shared a story about a coaching conference he attended. A dozen or so top-of-their-game coaches were standing around the hotel foyer when a curious hotel guest (who had read the conference banners) asked them innocently “ So what do Coaches do?
CRICKETS! They were all of a sudden speechless for a few long seconds. So yes, it even happens to the best.
That’s why it’s extremely important to know what to say so that the person you are connecting with will be interested enough to ask another question.
They may not even be suitable clients for you, but they could be a brilliant referral source. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they wouldn’t be interested and avoid sharing information with them. Everyone you meet is a potential referral source or future client.
Practice Practice Practice
When you have crafted your elevator speech using my tips below, practise using it so that it becomes second nature and play with it until you get it ‘just right'. As your business evolves so will your elevator speech.You might even have a repertoire of opening lines. Those few well-chosen words could be the start of something spectacular.
I remember how I would tell people “I’m a coach” and that was it! Most of them had no idea what a coach was and when I began to ask myself 'the question' was when I got the answers to my “what do you do?” response. It took me quite a while to figure that out.
What is that one Simple Question?
So, what do you do?
I’m a fitness trainer - So What? - (Yes, that's the one question; short, simple, powerful)
Well, I help people get fit - So What?
So they can lose weight - and feel great - So What?
So they can wear what they want and be kick-ass confident - So what? So,...... People?
The lightbulb went on
"I help women 40+ lose the last 5 KG and get kick-ass confident, so they can wear what they like and take back control of their lives".
BOOM! >>> Not bad
Can you see/hear how that amended description would give this fitness trainer some terrific information for her website, articles and programmes? Can you sense how much easier it would be to create packages for these ideal clients? She could get even clearer with some more questioning.
Ok Now it’s your turn.
So, tell me, what do you do?
Ask yourself, "So, what do you do"?
Respond with your first thought, then ask
Do that at least 3 or 4 times until you get to a point where your answer evokes a response within you. You kind of feel it in your body. If you need to add another word/question as I did in the example, do that. If you feel odd talking to yourself, buddy up with someone. (We talk to ourselves all day long)
This breakthrough can happen very quickly or may take a few attempts. Stick with it so that you actually begin to feel very comfortable with your response. Make sure that your intro' ends with a 'so' or 'so that' which relates to the reason behind what you do, the key piece that is holding your client back.
Do you have a favourite tip on what to say in response to the "What do you do" question?