When you first meet someone, at a party, waiting in line, through a friend, etc., there is one question you know will come up, “What do you do?”
This question is asked because either the person really is interested in what you do, or it’s just an automatic response when you first meet someone. Usually the answer is always dull and dry. “I’m a doctor”, “I work at a coffee shop”, “I’m an accountant”, “I sell cars”, etc. Although all of these answers maybe true, they lack an exciting punch that draws people into you. Make your answers a little bit more personal and try to make it about the other person if possible. Also try to tell stories around what you do. Remember the old saying, “Facts tell, stories sell.” Lets take a look at 3 techniques that can help you strengthen a relationship when you first meet someone:
- Link it to them: Tell the person you are meeting how you can benefit them directly. People are always looking to network and ways to help their lives become easier. If you meet someone who is a small business owner, and you are an IT Consultant, well tell them a time where you have helped a small business owner by saving their IT costs by X amount of dollars.
- Tell a story: Say you are a car salesman. You could say, “I sell cars”, but that does not help strengthen your relationship at all. What if you instead tell them an interesting story. What about the time you sold 5 cars in one day, or were taking a test drive with a crazy person, or maybe you got into a fender-bender. Whatever story you choose make it interesting and most importantly, unique. Talking about an award you may have been honored with is not interesting to the other person.
- Make It Interesting: If your job is not exciting to most people, say you try to get new advertising account for phone books, you can still present your occupation in an interesting way by posing a question that the other person may have been curious about. “Have you ever wondered how those coupons get into phone books?”
Keep these 3 tips in mind and most of all remember to just relax and have fun. You may be a doctor, but what about that time you were called at 3AM to perform that emergency appendectomy? Now that’s a little bit more exciting!
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