What do you do?
This question offers the perfect opening for you to provide a 30 second response that could open or close the doors of your future. Are you looking for a new job, a business supporter, a product sale or a change? Believe it or not, your answer is not all about you. Zig Ziglar says it best: “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”
Often referred to as the elevator speech, the term evolved because you really have only a short time – similar to the time it takes to travel between floors – to engage the person with your message. Within 15 to 30 seconds, your questioner will determine whether or not they want to hear more. Your response will, of course, be truthful and deal with your background, experience and goals, but the key is to determine how your chance to share can be of benefit or add value to either the listener or someone in their network.
Practice in front of the mirror so you’ll be comfortable enough with your message to be able to customize it on the fly. Try these 4 S’ to tell it all:
- Start with the benefit you provide
- Sandwich your capabilities and background around this benefit
- Show how your strengths and goals add value
- Stop talking and begin listening
Although you may be nervous to share your information, don’t strive for perfection. (More on technique and content later.) Keep in mind it’s more about matching your desires with theirs. Smile and do the best you can, but more importantly, pay attention to what they’re saying with their eyes and body language as well as with their words.
Even if you’re not trying to land a new job, etc., it’s good to have an elevator speech ready. Who knows, you might just make a new friend.
So tell me, what do you do?