You are Putting Me to Sleep

You know it.  I know it.

The guy sitting across from you, wearing a “My Name is Joe” sticker, staring blankly at you while he stirs a water-downed cocktail at your fancy networking event knows it.

Your ho-hum, regular ole’ standard introduction of who you are and what you do is boring.  

You’re saying to yourself  “hold up Alex, that’s not fair… you’ve never heard me introduce myself, you have no idea… blah…blah…blah”

And while it’s true that I have never heard you introduce yourself,  I’m betting your intro goes something like this…

“Hi, I’m Chuck Farmer, and I work in sheet metal.”

(crickets)

or 

“Hi, I’m Susie Burger, and I’m an accountant.”

(yawn)

You’ve lost Joe and me, and we’re all left feeling the weight of your lackluster description of the thing you do every day.

Here’s the deal, every time someone asks you “What do you do?” they’re also subconsciously (or consciously) asking  “What are you able to do for me?”  Your new networking buddy wants to make a connection with you.  When you’re able to connect with him or her in an exciting and approachable way, it means you are more likely to be remembered, start your sales process, build a relationship, etc.

You’re much more likely to a make a powerful connection when you start by telling the person who you are and what you do using one of these three strategies.

1.)  Tell me the problem you solve.

This strategy speaks directly to the person, gets them to picture themselves in the problem you solve and allows them to imagine working with you.

Here’s how you use it;

Boring:  I’m Alex, and I’m an executive presence and public speaking coach.

Interesting:   I’m Alex, and I teach people what to do with all of the stuff that goes wrong or bores people when they give presentations, talks, and speeches. I answer all the questions they don’t’ want to ask their friends because they’re “supposed to have it figured out by now” and help them sound spectacular in the process.

2.) Tell me why you are passionate about what you do.

This is the classic Simon Sinek Start with Why approach and it paints a clear picture of why you love what you do and even shows how what you do helps others.

Here’s how you use it;

Boring:  I’m Bob, and I’m cardboard manufacturer.

Interesting: I’m passionate making sure the products you have delivered to your home arrive safe, intact and exactly the way you want them. My company provides companies like Amazon, Zappos, and UPS with superior quality cardboard boxes for shipping.

3.) Tell me about what you do in simple terms.

This method is for you if you;

-have a complicated title that’s unfamiliar to most listeners,

-consider yourself an “expert”  and want the world to know it

-have certifications you feel must share

-use a perfectly memorized “pitch” that (despite hours of toiling, careful an acronym construction, and endless synonym searches) still doesn’t really say what it is you do.

Here’s how you use it;

Boring: I’m a triple board certified ergonomic plastics engineer who creates complex units utilized for sealing.

Interesting: I’m the guy that designs and produces the plastic ties that hold your bread bags shut.

(Immediate hero status) 

Here’s why this works.

Your listener is not likely to know or care (initially) about your self-defined expert status or certifications.  It’s unlikely they understand what your title means if they don’t work in your industry.  They’ll nod politely, secretly feel dumb for not knowing, google it alone later in the bathroom and cut your conversation short.  You’ll lose that chance to connect if you talk above their head.  You may feel like you’re dumbing down what you do or your job isn’t as impressive in plain language. But I promise you, your listener will appreciate you making it easy for them to understand you and ask questions. 

There you have it.   Three strategies for waking up your intro (and your friends) by talking about what you do in ways that drive connection with the people you meet every day.

Go find your “My Name Is” sticker and get some business done.

 

Drop your revamped intro below and share your thoughts!  Frequent visitor not yet a follower? What’s holding you back? Click on the Follow button and never miss a post! 

 

P.S. To all of my accountant and steel working friends, I love you and no harm was intended by this post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 replies
  1. Kris@evergreenleadership.com
    Kris@evergreenleadership.com says:

    Alex….love this. Would you be OK if we used this as a guest post for LEAP (with your info with it and links to your site)….and as a teaser for your Focus session?

    Reply

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