How to Answer the Question: What do you do?

There is one thing I constantly hear business owners struggling with that is losing them business – not responding effectively to the question ‘What do you do?’

You see when asked this, most answer this literally by sharing their profession or what they call themselves e.g. I’m a therapist, I’m a photographer, I’m an author, or I’m a coach.

Sharing ‘titles’ may work for the more traditional vocations that most people ‘get’ and for those who are employed rather than running their own businesses (and not seeking to take on clients).

However, responding in this way for more unusual professions and particularly when you are self employed, often doesn’t help the other person understand ‘what’ you do – to know whether or not you can help them, or anyone they know.

Have you ever experienced a blank expression or confused look when you tell others ‘what’ you do?

If you want to help others better understand what you do (and potentially buy or to refer business to you) your response needs to concisely communicate what problem(s) you solve, or outcomes you help your ideal clients achieve. It’s about coming up with a hook that invites or stimulates further conversation rather than muting it.

For example:

  • I help heart-centered business owners to get more clients
  • I help heart-centered business owners to generate passive income
  • I help parents develop good relationships with their children / teenagers
  • I help aspiring authors to publish books
  • I help unhappy professionals to find their ideal job
  • I help stressed workers to enjoy a better work/life balance
  • I paint pictures of pets for people who want to give their friends and family a personal gift

By responding in this way, the other person is more likely to understand ‘what you do’ and to ask further questions if they are interested in finding out more.

Here are a couple of simple formulas to help you come up with your own responses:

  • I am an expert in xxxxx
  • I [verb] [who – your ideal clients] to [outcome/problem you solve]

It’s about taking the time to come up with a concise statement (e.g. in less than 140 characters or 20 words) that you can use and easily tailor to the person (or group) you are speaking to.

It would be great to hear more about you, so please do share your responses below.

Have fun with this!

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Alisoun Mackenzie is The Compassionate Business Mentor, Author, and Speaker who inspires business owners and social entrepreneurs to turn their passions into profits and make a difference in the world. 

She is also the author of two Amazon Best Selling books Heartatude, The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give to Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities Social Causes.

Alisoun is also the founder of The Heartabiz Hub a business network and training academy and has written the following free ebooks:

  • The 9 Secrets to Signing Up Clients Without Selling (click here)
  • 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact (click here)
  • 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business  (click here)

You can connect with Alisoun here:

  • Alisoun Mackenzie Facebook Fanpage (for tips on authentic living and business mastery) – click HERE
  • The Heartabiz Hub Facebook Fanpage (for details about our courses and events) – click HERE
  • Give To Profit Facebook Fanpage (tips on supporting charities and social causes) – click HERE
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