Once you have your answers, you can create a personal brand statement or even a 10-second pitch using a template like:
“I help target audience verb results or market needs by value.”
When you are at your next networking event, your conversation might then look like this:
New acquaintance: “So, what do you do?”
You: “Software companies hire me to turn prospects into enthusiastic brand advocates.”
New acquaintance: “How do you do that?”
You: “Well, I partner with sales to create marketing campaigns that generate a high ROI and then my customer loyalty programs elevate customer lifetime values far above average.”
Another way to answer the question, which I like even better, is to ask a question back to your new connection. Here is how I might use this approach:
New Acquaintance: “So, Michelle, what do you do?”
Me: “Let me answer that with a question. Do you know anyone who is unhappy in their job?” (With recent studies showing only about 50 percent of people being happy in their job, I know I have a pretty good chance of a positive answer.)
New Acquaintance: “Actually, yes. I have been trying to get out of my current role for a few months now.”
Me: “Well I help professionals like you make job search fun so they can land their ideal role faster.” This is a true and authentic answer. I am probably one of the few people on earth who thinks job search is fun.
This format sets up a conversation that is engaging, providing the opportunity to talk about yourself in a way that relates to a new acquaintance, personally.
Now, let me give you a template to follow so you can create your own question to use in this situation:
Do you know anyone who specific problem you solve?
If you’re having trouble narrowing down the problem or think people just won’t be able to relate, you can combine the two methods. Tell a story with your question.
Putting this into context, let’s say you’re a Director of Marketing for a hospital in the Chicago area and you’re at a local networking event. Your conversation might look like this:
New Acquaintance: “What do you do?”
You: “Do you remember when Skokie Valley Hospital had the nickname Death Valley?”
New Acquaintance: [chuckles] “Yes, I do. Even though I used to live near that hospital I would never go there out of my own free will.”
You: “Well, I help hospitals turn around their community reputation and achieve record-setting growth.”
The more you can localize and relate to your new connection, the more likely you will have an engaging conversation that will lead to productive networking.
So, now let me ask you: What are you most excited about right now? I love facilitating connections, so pop a comment below with your answer (or how you’ll answer the “What do you do?” question). You never know who might be reading and can connect you to that next prospect or job opportunity.