How did you introduce yourself?
How did the people you met, introduce themselves?
Was it memorable?
What about just meeting people at a social function and the question comes around on “what do you do?”.
How did you answer it?
Well if you are like most people, the answer might be along the lines of “I’m a manager”, or “I have my own business” etc. But did that really convey the sentiment on what you do or what your business does? Did it connect with you as a person to your audience and connect you to your overall mission or purpose?
If you currently find it difficult to convey such a succinct message, a possible reason might be that you are still trying to define what you or your business does.
For example, if you said to me you’re a manager – then what type of manager? What outcomes do your seek? What are you trying to achieve etc.?
Although it may be useful to chunk and categorise because that’s an efficient way for our brain and our brain likes efficiency, what we lose with this abstraction is the depth of personality and authenticity.
You see, I consider authenticity these days a rare commodity. In fact as my public speaking mentor Andy Harrington says:
“why are you desperately trying to fit in, when you were born to stand out?
So what can you do about this?
Well I have always tried to have what I call an “elevator speech” in my back pocket ready to use when I need it. You know, that short sharp and succinct commentary that tells your story, or at least the message you are wanting to convey?
Back in my corporate days, I use to say to my mentees, they need to have their story with them all the time. So if they are ever in the real elevator and the CEO steps in, here is a great opportunity for them to introduce themselves and help the CEO by saying who they are, where they work in the company and what they are currently working on. In this situation, this helps the CEO relate to them as they now have context (note of warning – if the CEO frowns back, well my career suggestion would be to get out of the elevator at the next step!).
Of course, if it is a complete stranger, one who does not know who you are, or for that matter anything about your company or your role, then you need to be more descriptive in the language that you use so that they are more likely to understand and relate to you.
Basically the real tip here is take responsibility for reaching out and building relationships. Do not wait to be engaged as it may never happen (please trust me on this, some people wait their whole lives and wonder why nothing happens).
You have to be pro-active!
But if you are naturally not the most outgoing individual then this can be a challenge. That’s why you need some prompts to help you so your message is always concise and you are true to your purpose and as a result, are being authentic and integral, or whole.
This is where the A,B, C’s come in…
I learned this technique from Brendon Burchard, founder of the Experts Academy. Its basically a formula and all you have to do is to add the words that makes sense for you and your business. While it appears very simple, do not let that fool you, it is extremely elegant and highly effective and here it is…
I help A
To Do B
So That C
Let’s use an example to see how it works for real, lets use my business in how I would respond, if you asked me what I do…
I help entrepreneurs and small to medium sized enterprises set up, scale up and sustain their startup or existing business, so that they can focus on the front end of their business – dreaming big, creating a vision and building awesome relationships
Now, no doubt I can further refine this, but can you see how this is much more powerful than just: “I have my own business” when you are being asked “what do you do?”?
Also, this ABC approach continually reinforces my whole mission, my targeted customers and what I do for them. If you go to my web page, you will also see that I have it on my home page and it is also an extension of my business tag line… to set up, scale up and sustain your startup.
Do you think this may be useful for you in your business, or even if you are a professional with a boss – as it is the same principle when conveying your message on what you are all about.
Now sometimes you may still need to pre-frame by providing more context depending upon your audience and you do this by using language that they can relate to or by using metaphors and analogies.
Regardless, next time when you are attending a function and somebody asks you “what do you do?” you need to pull out you ABC and respond by saying…
I help “A”, to do “B”, so that “C”!