“What do you do?”
This question sends many of us into a blind panic. We stare at the person in front of us, smile nervously and usually say:
“Well its complicated“
The person in front of you is maintaining eye contact but inside their head, their brain is initiating stand-by mode and will generally stop listening. But why?
“What do you do?” It’s a pretty basic question. Isn’t it?
So why don’t we answer clearly and fluently?
Not having practiced the answer created in a structured way, we’re put on the spot and don’t feel confident what to say.
Telling someone what you do is called an elevator pitch.
Let’s take a look at this elevator pitch response when you’re asked:
“What do you do?
“Well it’s complicated…I get information from our FJG system and review it…well we don’t review it someone else usually does that in DivOps to make sure its accurate, but it never is [nervous laugh] and then each week or every seven or maybe ten days later we get a MarSearch report online…well it might be online unless its emailed and then it goes into my junk [laugh] and we discuss as a team, well maybe not everyone, it’s usually Bob and I and if Bob isn’t around I might choose Carol who’s very good at spotting customer trends…”
Which line did you lose interest at? Line one? Line two? You made it to Line three?
If you made it to Line six, well done but you probably switched off around Line three.
So why do we switch off when we hear this reply?
Above all else, when we’re being told something, our brains quickly analyse three things:
- What value am I gaining?
- Is this difficult to understand?
- How much energy am I using to process?
In short, we stop listening, start daydreaming and glaze over. It’s our way of conserving energy. We don’t understand. It’s just too confusing.
Why does it matter?
The reason it matters is because natural human behaviour judges that person on their capability to explain what they do. How can we possibly do business together if they can’t even explain what they do?
An elevator pitch doesn’t need to be every tiny detail. It needs to be an introduction to what you do and how you help others.
Just imagine having the confidence to share what you do and how you help others in a way that people:
- Keen to listen
- Ask “Tell me more“
As a Story Telling guide, this is how I would reply…
Succinct. Understandable. Interesting. If you can crack your elevator pitch, the next question from the person in front of you will be:
“Ok, that’s interesting. Tell me more”
Just imagine meeting someone for the first time and confidently telling them what you do and they say:
“Ok that’s interesting. Tell me more”
Now that’s a strong personal branding that builds rapport and creates trust.
Try creating your own elevator pitch today, it might change your life and help grow you and your business forever.
If you need a hand creating your elevator pitch helping enhance your personal brand, get in touch.
Happy to help.