People don't buy 'what' you do

People don’t buy what you do - they buy who you are.

Think about that the next time a prospect or networker asks you ‘What do you do?’

Because by explaining what you do, you aren’t actually engaging with them. It simply allows them to categorise you and move on. They don’t realise it, but that’s actually the worst question they could ask if they are genuinely interested in finding out what makes them tick and if you can help them in any way.

Why? Because the human brain is hard wired to engage on three levels with other humans. The trouble is two of them are predominately subconscious, so we’re not consciously aware we’re even doing it.

Level 1 is intuitive, Level 2 is emotional and Level 3 is logical. Level 1 is the basic question – ‘what’s in it for me?’ and comes from the reptilian (flight or fight) part of our brains. Unless you can articulate a problem you solve that’s relevant to them or someone they know, what you’re saying won’t get past Level 1.

Level 2 answers the question ‘can I trust you?’ and comes from the limbic part of the brain. Unless you share something about yourself that explains what you believe in or why you’re doing the work you do, your message won’t get past level 2.

Level 3 is logical – it explains what you do and how you do it. And that’s where most people start their elevator pitch. But because there’s no intuitive need or trust established, the message is normally lost on the person listening.

So next time someone asks you the question ‘What do you do’ - don’t answer it. Tell them the biggest problem you solve for people and why you love solving it. That will open the door for you to explain what you do and how you do it.

Justin Cooper