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In articulating what you do, the goal is not to come up with a canned speech you can use.  The goal is to be so incredibly clear about what you bring to your clients and customers, and to be so in LOVE with what you do, that the words will simply roll off your tongue. This really does happen…and it does eventually become natural.  Playing with it and practicing are just part of the action steps to begin clearly defining what you do so others will be able to “resonate” with what you say. Remember to be easy with yourself and look for phrasing that feels compelling, stretches you, yet you can still be comfortable with.  The more compelling the phrases are to you, the more inspiring they will be to your potential clients.  Work with a mentor, coach, or buddy to help you create the statement(s) that feel(s) right to you. A couple of key things to keep in mind:
  • When people ask what you do, what they are really asking is “how can you help me with my problem/situation?”  Put on your translator hat and answer the question they’re really asking.
  • Answer it from their shoes.  Know what you do, but answer what they get.
  • Be specific.  This is probably the hardest thing for people to do.  We don’t inherently like being specific because we don’t want to exclude anyone.
Think of it this way.  The reason for being specific is so that you can engage in a meaningful conversation.  The specificity of it will lead your prospect to comment, or ask a question, rather than having their eyes glaze over, or walk away.  This is the conversation where you will build the relationship, and hence, make the sale. When crafting your statement, watch for when the light bulb goes on for you. Say your sentences out loud.  This gets you out of your thinking mode where all the “head-chatter” is, and it allowing you to hear more cleanly what you are saying.  Pay attention to how you respond.  If you find yourself smiling, getting goose bumps, that inner sense of knowing, or simply catch yourself nodding “yes” while you talk, then you know you’re getting it. Here are some additional questions to help you articulate what it is you do:
  • What are three feeling/emotional reactions your typical client or customer is experiencing before you or they walk through the door?
  • What are 3 feelings they will likely experience within 90 days of working with you?
  • What are the most common challenges your ideal customer is facing?
  • What do you do that will help them resolve, or make the most of those challenges?
  • Of all the things you could do with a client, what are the 3 things you most enjoy doing?
  • What is the root cause of the stress that your ideal customer is experiencing?
  • With whom do you most enjoy working because it’s so rewarding?
  • Who is the easiest customer for you to do great work for/with?
  • Why do you want to work with this type of client?  What’s the real reason?
  • Now ask yourself, “Is that really it…or is it something else?”
  • Answer these questions: “I work with…”.  “I work best with people who…”
  • What comes easily to you or for you?
  • What would your clients say is your primary value to them?
  • Let’s say it’s not that.  What else could it be?
  • Why is that so important to you?
  • What is the simple, English version of that?
  • And how do you do that for them?
  • That’s what you do, but what’s the benefit to them?
  • That’s what they focus on with you, but what are they feeling during this process?
  • Can you be even more specific, even if seems exclusionary?