Saturday, September 22, 2012

What to Say When Nobody Cares What You Do

It’s a simple but uncomfortable truth.

Nobody cares what you do.

Oh, people might ask. At a networking lunch, a cocktail party, and so on.

But nobody cares.

What do people actually care about?

“Enough about me. What do you think about me?”

It’s funny because it is true.

People want to hear if listening to you is worth their time and energy.

  • How might you help them?
  • Who do you know who might be useful?
  • Are you fun to be around?

Wait … didn’t I say they don’t care what you do?

Yup, it’s not about what you DO, it’s about what they GET!

  • I bought a dog, he is pretty useless. He sniffs butts and tries to climb up my chest so he can bite my ear. These are not compelling selling points. The cat contributes even less to the household chores, and is not the worlds best listener when I need to talk something through.
  • My flights to Chicago might involve a lot of waiting around and being scanned by the TSAs nudetron machines. Yay.
  • The government of Canada just took a large slice of my hard-earned, possibly to use wisely, but potentially to give to oil companies and bankers.

We rarely spend time and money on what these things do. Instead we are buying into a promise of a change, benefit or outcome.

My dog gives a lot of joy to my family, and will give even more joy when he grows a brain. The 8 hours of traveling are not a pleasure, but being in Chicago for SOBCon will be. Paying taxes is worth it as part of my duty as a citizen to pay my share for the services we get, but more immediately compelling on a personal level is to stay out of jail.

So Here is What You Tell People Instead …

In your marketing, in your content, your tagline and your “elevator pitch”, instead of talking about what you do …

  • I’m a coach …
  • I run a course …
  • My blog …
  • Wrote a book …
  • Farm naked mole rats …

… Instead focus on why they should care.

You may have seen I just took a gig as a kind of teacher. Who cares right? It will only interest you if what I am teaching makes a difference to your life or business, and for that it needs to promise a beneficial outcome.

If you are an accountant then you can potentially keep someone from getting into a lot of trouble, but also save them a lot of money. It’s not about papers and numbers.

Coaches lead their client to their goals, evolution, problem solving and the outcomes they dream about. It’s not about spending time with you on the telephone being “coached”.

Your non-fiction book is possibly an entertaining read, but it is even more attractive when thought of as a knowledge delivery system. What is that knowledge good for? What will the ideas and information lead to?

Bottom Line

You are never going to be louder or more interesting than the me-me-me track looping in their head. Work with that rather than against it.

So … what do YOU do? …



Kenneth W. Freeman Michael Pragnell Thomas P. Mac Mahon Frank O\'Halloran Daniel Hajj Aboumrad

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