Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Who Are You and What the Heck Do You Do?

I attended a networking event this past week and heard lots of people introducing themselves with uninteresting lines that could even be a turn-off for some. In his book "Endless Referrals" Bob Burg encourages you to focus the conversation on the other person.

But inevitably, especially at events designed for business networking, you will be asked what you do. Here are some things to NOT say:

* "I sell..."
* "I am a..."
* "I work for..."

Instead, you want to describe the benefit you provide to others, and in a way that sets you apart from your competition. Some better ways to start:

* "I help people..."
* "I provide people..."
* "I create...for people"

Let's look at some examples.

"I sell houses" vs. "I help people find the right home"
"I sell life insurance" vs. "I provide peace of mind for people"
"I manage the abc branch of xyz bank" vs." I provide a personalized banking experience"
"I am an investment advisor" vs. "I help people build a solid retirement nest egg"
"I sell vitamins and supplements" vs." I help people feel young and energetic"
"I design websites" vs. "I create an Internet presence for people"

Do you get the idea? When you use the word "sell" it is an automatic turn-off for many people. When you say "I am" it's focused on YOU, not what you do for others. When you say "I work for" it makes you sound like any other employee, not someone who has something uniquely valuable to provide.

When you lead with benefits, the other person sees you as helpful and caring rather than someone who is out for the money. They can tell that you have put some thought into your opening line, which sets you apart. A great opening line helps people remember you, and it can be used beyond these events.

Your opening line can go on business cards. If you decide to have note cards and/or memo pads made as Bob suggests in his book, your opening line can go on those too. As you continue to network, if you have been using a great opening line, the people who have heard it before will remember you and connect on a whole different level. You might even catch them telling other people about your great line!

The whole point is to not be ordinary. There is a ton of competition out there, people. If you want to get the business, you need people to see you as different. They need to feel that you offer something better. Your opening line can set the stage for people to like you and want to get to know you better, which then leads to trust. Or it can turn people off, or make them think you're just another ordinary person exactly the same as your competition.

Tom "Big Al" Schreiter has a course on opening lines called "Ice Breakers" which I found very helpful. Set yourself apart with a clever opening line. You'll be glad you did!

By : Dale_Reynolds

1 comment:

Mas-Raden said...

thats so good article

hi from mas raden