So, What Do You Do For A Living?

The first time you meet someone, what’s one of the first things that they ask (“What do you do for a living”)? Underneath the question they are really asking: Can you help me? Can I help you? Can we help each other? Are you someone I should look up to?

Most of us answer the question with a label (“I’m a realtor”). The conversation is most likely over; the other person’s life experience has assumed they know what you do and how you do it. After all, how different are realtors?

Your could describe what you do (“I represent buyers in real estate transactions”). You are more specific, but still the listener is waiting to get the answer to the question, “Can you help me?”. You haven’t engaged them at all.

You could answer the question with a description of what makes you unique (“I help new buyers find a home of their dreams”). The uniqueness helps set you apart, but again you haven’t engaged the listener.

Instead tell the listener what problem you solve (“I work with people who are looking for the house of their dreams and are afraid of the whole house-buying process and are afraid paying too much.”) The focus is now not on you or your process but what you can do to help them. People can relate to the problem you’re describing. And you’ve opened the door for the next question, “How do you do that?”

Marketing your business takes time. You want people to get to know you. To trust you. To be interested in seeing how you can help them. To buy something from you. We dream of the instant sale. The reality is that it takes work to build a customer relationship. Remember every time you talk to someone is a marketing opportunity.

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