How to Answer the Question “What Do You Do?”
It’s the first question we’re asked by almost everyone – “What do you do?” And it’s an invaluable opportunity to make a meaningful impression. You never know who could be asking the question. It could be your next biggest client or referral partner. So don’t squander the opportunity by sounding like everyone else. Here are some tips on how to make yourself memorable.
1. Don’t say “I’m a ¬¬¬________.”
Giving the typical answer of “I’m a _____” makes you indistinguishable from all the other ________s in the room, and doesn’t lead to further conversation. That’s the opposite effect of what you want. Your opening line should be compelling and make you memorable. Your listener should want to hear more.
2. Have a prepared speech, up to a minute long
Really? Yes, really! This is the most important question you are asked in business, and you are asked it all the time. Every time you’re asked is a chance for you to shine, and every time you don’t make yourself unforgettable you have wasted that opportunity. Your business intro should be conversational and undetectable; you should just sound like a more articulate version of yourself. Something this important shouldn’t be improvised on the spot, but rather carefully crafted to have the maximum impact.
3. Answer the question they’re really asking
Sure they’re asking you what you do, but never forget that their favorite subject is themselves. What they really want to know is “How does what you do affect me?” So tell them. Sometimes that means talking about what the company or product does rather than your specific role, and other times it may mean using just a slice of what you do. Sometimes it entails talking about why you do what you do rather than what you do itself. The goal is to engage your listeners by making it relevant to them.
4. Solve a problem
The best way to make something relevant to someone else is to solve a problem. What problems does your business solve? How do those problems trickle down and affect consumers? What problems do you solve?
5. End with a call to action
You want to solidify your connection with your listeners with a call to action, something that asks them to do something. It can be as simple as “Talk to us.” Or “Call me if you have problems.”
Image Source: “Cartoon Businessman With Question Mark” by iosphere, FreeDigitalPhotos.net