When someone asks you what you do, what are the first words that come out of your mouth? If the words aren’t ready to speak or don’t come easily, then read on. . .
When someone asks what you do, make sure you’re ready with a response that is succinct and memorable. The attention span of the average adult is only 20 seconds, so a long, drawn-out answer to their question isn’t going to work.
Many people believe that to network successfully and set themselves up for getting the most referrals, they need to tell everyone who will listen (and some who won’t) every single thing that their business does. This misconception leads many people to believe that by talking to every person in the room, they’ll maximize their referrals. This is not the case at all. It actually bores the intended audience and overwhelms them with more information than they could possibly remember.
Focus on creating a unique selling proposition (USP) for your company, business, or service that you can use when you are networking. Your USP will be a brief summary of your business – the key word here is brief. You’ll want to share this description concisely while being as engaging as possible. This will help your audience walk away understanding what you do, and if you have described your business in a compelling way, they will be more likely to remember you because you entertained them and kept them listening.
Short, Powerful, Informative
I think of the USP as a personal answer to the age-old question that we’ve all been asked a million times: “What do you do?”
When someone asks what you do, avoid giving a bland, general statement such as “I’m a consultant.” Half of the business people in the world can say that, and it really doesn’t tell anybody anything.
Instead, you could say, “I work with small to medium-size businesses to help them attract more clients than they could possibly handle.” This is short, powerful, and informative.
Another example is someone who says, “I own and operate a sporting goods store.” They could be more specific by sharing the benefits that customers receive from their business. “I deal in sporting goods, specializing in team sports. I’ve outfitted most of the local high school football teams, and I offer custom-fit equipment at a substantial discount with a quick delivery.”
A USP is something that must be tailored to each specific business, but can you see how it is more effective than just telling people you’re a consultant or a store owner? Whichever 12 or 20 words you choose for your USP, make sure your answer is quick and informative without sounding rehearsed or contrived.
Remember, a good USP is designed to help others understand the unique value of what you do. It will make you much more effective at business networking events and functions, and it will also make you more comfortable when introducing yourself to new people because you’ll have the confidence of knowing exactly what to say.
Your USP should be short, sweet, and to the point, without being vague or misleading. Your goal is to open the door for a conversation, not leave any potential contacts confused. The biggest indicator of a good unique selling proposition is that it gets people to ask you more about your business and keeps them genuinely interested in talking about what you do.
I’d like to hear how your USP has helped your networking results.