What Are the First Words Out of Your Mouth? - Dr. Ivan Misner®

What Are the First Words Out of Your Mouth?

When someone asks you what you do, what are the first words out of your mouth?  If the words aren’t ready to roll off your tongue, then read on . . .

When someone asks you what you do, make sure you’re ready with a response that is succinct but memorable. The attention span of the average adult is only 20 seconds; a long, drawn-out answer to the question isn’t going to work.

Focus on creating a unique selling proposition (USP)–a mini commercial that you can readily use while networking. I think of this as a personal answer to the age-old “Whattaya do?” question, which we’ve all been asked about a million and a half times.

Here’s an example. When someone asks what you do, don’t reply with a bland, general statement such as “I’m a consultant.” Half the world could say that, and it 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.

A USP is obviously something you’ll have to tailor to your specific business, but can you see how it packs more punch than just telling people you’re a consultant? Whichever 12 or 20 words you choose, make sure your answer is quick and informative without sounding rehearsed or contrived.

So, make it your goal this week to come with a USP. Not only will this make you much more effective at networking events and functions, being prepared in this way will also make you more comfortable with introducing yourself to new people because you’ll have the confidence of knowing exactly what to say.

Once you’ve used your new USP a handful of times, come back and leave a comment letting me know what kind of response you got from people and how it worked out for you overall. As always, I’d love to hear from you!

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10 thoughts on “What Are the First Words Out of Your Mouth?

  1. Dr. Misner,
    Great point. When done well, this leads to the other person responding with, “Really. Tell me more.” This is the beginning of conversations, and conversations have the opportunity to lead to relationships. And as we know, business is built on relationships.
    Here’s to your success!
    Peter George

    PS. My USP is: I help self-employed professionals attract more clients, be more profitable, and have more time to enjoy life.

  2. I am currently enrolled in the Referral Insitutes “Certified Networker” program. For any business owner our associates in the Tacoma / Puyallup communities and nationwide that is not plugged into learning vital business Referral Networking techniques, having and introduction is just an introduction.

    Most of us believe that we have a handle on marketing; the question is are you a continuing student and are you putting all these principles in practice. Get connected , stay connected and move your company forward. There is no recession in your own business if you practice these principles

    Brian Kaplan
    Uptown Coffee News, LLC
    & Wisdom Bridge Productions / Sumner, WA

  3. Great example of the self introduction by the consultant!

    The self introduction needs to be memorable and make you stand out from the crowd. Attendees will meet hundreds of people at conference.
    This is even more important if you are moving into a new industry where people don’t know you… yet!

    Jordi

  4. Thank you for posing the question and presenting helpful advice Ivan!

    This topic is not discussed enough! After 25+ years in the communications industry, I’m still continually challenged to refine my self-introduction!

    Social media can actually be a benefit here. In Twitter for example, one has to encapsulate their thought within 140 characters. The ability to do this effectively will certainly help to keep your self introduction succinct, and hopefully memorable.

    Cheryl

  5. I am currently enrolled in the Referral Insitutes “Certified Networker” program. For any business owner our associates in the Tacoma / Puyallup communities and nationwide that is not plugged into learning vital business Referral Networking techniques, having and introduction is just an introduction.

    Most of us believe that we have a handle on marketing; the question is are you a continuing student and are you putting all these principles in practice. Get connected , stay connected and move your company forward. There is no recession in your own business if you practice these principles

    Brian Kaplan
    Uptown Coffee News, LLC
    & Wisdom Bridge Productions / Sumner, WA

  6. That is so true, these first words are so crucial. I’ve witnessed how people are turned off when someone starts talking forever about everything they do, and leaving no impact at all.

    I’m still working on mine but for now I’m using this “I help people find their passion, and turn it into content”

    What do you think?

    Thanks for the informative article.

  7. This is great info and so true. In order to succeed in business you need something that sets you apart from everyone else and why they would want to do business with you and want what you have. USP’s set you apart from the rest of the herd. You have only about 20seconds so Less said the better but it must be specific enough to catch the attention of the other person. RJ Stratton

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