Savvy Small Business Blog

Explaining what you do?

Or rather, ‘Do you know how to explain what you do and have the other person really understand it?’

The nice thing about traditional job roles and professions was everyone knew what they were.

There is a classic question that is the opening line for many a conversation and it goes, ‘So what do you do?’ Blokes especially have always been categorized by what they do and by telling someone what they do people make a whole range of assumptions about them based on traditional job roles. In the past this worked pretty well.

If you are a butcher, baker, nurse, electrician, carpenter, or so on you don’t need to explain what that means. If you’re a wellness practitioner or a Holistic healer, or a life coach or a maker even, very few people will genuinely understand what that means. Depending on their prejudices or previous experiences that might be a positive thing or not but it probably won’t be based on a true understanding of you or what you do.

So, what’s the answer?

To explain what you do you need to have a short concise job description that conveys what you do in a meaningful way in one sentence. Ideally it will give the other person enough information to get a picture and make them interested enough to ask you to explain more.

You need to know this sentence off by heart and have it flow off your tongue with a casual ease and an air of confidence that conveys certainty and a measure of control.

You are asking someone what they do the last thing you want to hear is a sense of uncertainty in their voice. If you did sense uncertainty you would quickly forget any ideas you may have had about doing business with them.

The answer is simple. Answer these four questions;

  1. Who you are – your name
  2. The outcomes you provide people
  3. How you create those outcomes
  4. What they experience as a result.

I have two versions of this statement. A long and a short one and I can use the one I feel most fits the situation. If I sense someone is just asking out of politeness I’ll give the short version, if I think they are genuinely interested I’ll give the longer one.

I’ll use my intro as an example and dissect it for you.

Me – My name is Paul. I help small business owners promote themselves by teaching and providing online marketing services so they can make more money and have more time.

Response – Oooh. Tell me more about that 🙂

Or

Me – My name is Paul. I help small business owners promote themselves by teaching marketing and personal development, and by providing online marketing services, so they can focus more on what it is they are gifted at and still make money and have more time.

Response – Oooh. Tell me more about that 🙂

  1. Who you are – My name is Paul
  2. What do I do – I help small business owners promote themselves
  3. How do I do that – by teaching marketing and personal development, and by providing online marketing services
  4. What do they experience – so they can focus more on what it is they are gifted at and still make money and have more time.

Now try this exercise for yourself.

Tip use a blank word doc. Write your first draft sentence

Copy it and then paste it underneath the first one. Edit this sentence and when you have, copy and paste that underneath it.

Keep repeating the process until you feel you’ve crafted the best version you can. Test your sentence out on family or friends and see how it feels. It must feel congruent and flow naturally. If it doesn’t keep going with the editing and refining until it does. Once you have a statement you are comfortable with try it out live and be aware of the response it gets.

Does it illicit a ‘tell me more’ or a how do you do that? If so you’ve nailed it at least for now. It will change no doubt over time but it is doing the job of explaining and opening up conversation not just having people’s eyes glaze over and quickly change the conversation.

When you’ve got your finished result or if you’d like to test a few please go over to my Facebook group and post it there to inspire others and receive feedback.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/enterprisingpeople/