How often are you asked “so, what do you do?”

I think more often than you might realize.  The question comes up frequently in casual settings as well as in more professional, networking sort of situations.

Do you know how to answer?

Do you know how to reply to the question effortlessly and succinctly?

Or do you often trip over your words, stumbling to explain what you do?  “I, um, well, it’s kinda hard to explain…I do this and that…AND I do some of that and this…”

Being able to talk about what you do is an important skill for any business owner.  But if you’re a coach or consultant, you really need to be clear about who you work with and how you help people.  And just as a quick reminder…you do NOT work with everyone (know your niche!).

I run a local, casual networking group in the San Fernando Valley for women entrepreneurs.  I purposefully don’t allow for public introductions; you know, the kind where we go around the room and tell everyone what we do.

I’ve found that so few people can sum up what they do, in a way that makes sense to the listener.  Let alone, say it clearly in less than 30 seconds.  And because of that, I find that a lot of people get bored and tune out of the whole process.  So I’ve opted to not include these round table introductions as a part of my networking dinners.

But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook (unless you attend my Val Gal dinners, that is).  You need to know how to tell people what it is you do and in particular, who you work with.

So I’m here to teach you how to quickly, easily and thoroughly, answer the question “what do you do?” 

Let’s start by answering the following questions…

What is your name? When making your introduction to people, be sure to state your name slowly and clearly.  In fact, I suggest repeating your first name before rushing right into your full name. You might also want to state the name of your business or business URL “Hi, my name is Katy.  Katy Tafoya from Success for Solopreneurs.”

Who is your target market?  Tell your audience who your target market is so they know if it’s them or even someone they might know.  “I work with small businesses….” “I work with neo natal nurses….” “I help work-at-home, part-time athletes…”

What problem do you solve?  Explain in easy to understand terms what problems you help people solve; what pain they might be experiencing.  Be specific here, this is your opportunity to speak directly to your right people.  “I help/show/teach clients to reach more of their right people and make more money.”

What are they moving towards?  This is where you explain how you help your clients reach the goals they’re moving towards; the so they can  “…so they can have more free time.”  “…so they can stop wasting their time/money on…”  “…so they can take control of their…”

BONUS: If time allows or if you’re in a one-on-one conversation, close out by asking for what you need. If you’re looking for new clients…ask.  If you’re looking for speaking opportunities…ask.  If you’re in need of a new bank, insurance agent, emailing client, etc…ask.  “If you know anyone that might benefit from working with me, please let me know.”  “I’m looking for opportunities to speak to groups about how massage helps to alleviate stress.”  This is also a great way to recap what it is you do “So, do you know anyone who needs someone to…”

Now sit down for 10-15 minutes and write out a couple sentences that answer all these questions.  Then compile it all into one, easy to remember sentence.

“I am a chiropractor that works with stay at home entrepreneurs to help eradicate lower back pain so they can move about more freely and lose less time and energy due to pain or discomfort.”

“I work with small business owners to teach them how to reach more clients so that they can make more money using YellowPage advertising.”

“I teach work-at-home entrepreneurs how to create systems so that they can get more done in less time and focus on their money making tasks, not their day to day, operational tasks.”

“I show new moms how to use massage to soothe their newborns so that both the mother and the child sleep more soundly.”

Once you’ve come up with your simple, easy to remember sentence practice saying it aloud for 5 or so minutes a couple times a week.  The goal here is to get to the point where you don’t even have to think about what it is you do and where your sentence rolls easily off your tongue.

After practicing your new statement for a while, you’ll find that you’ll no longer be stuck stammering or stuttering the next time someone asks “so tell me, what do you do?”

Talk about feeling powerful and confident!

So tell me, what do you do?