Black Belt in Business – How to Gain Customers

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Each and every day, business people meet one another and one of the first questions someone asks is, “What do you do?”

If you answer this question correctly, it will make your bottom line soar! Conversely, messing up the answer will keep you from the success you work so hard to achieve.

I would guess that 90% of business people answer this question wrong (and that includes 100% of the business people I speak with.) The wrong answer is, “I’m a plumber”, “I’m a florist”, “I’m an attorney”, or “I’m a …”. This is the wrong answer for a couple of reasons:

First, it does not tell the person you are speaking with anything unique about you. They may know someone who needs your product or service, but don’t know exactly what you do, so you are missing a potential opportunity to gain a new customer. Second, it does not create further conversation unless the person either knows something about your industry or they are in need of your product or service themselves. Think about how many times you have answered this question wrong – and multiply that by the hundreds or thousands of dollars lost in sales – OUCH!

Now, imagine answering that same question the right way. You would be so busy with new customers and repeat business that you would begin to wonder how you ever answered any other way. Let’s say you own a Lawn Service company. Instead of saying to someone, “I cut grass”, let’s go deeper and find a way to draw the person into the conversation. You could say something like, “I help homeowners reduce their daily stress and free up their time so they can do something they enjoy doing.” This answer will practically ALWAYS be followed up with, “How do you do that?” See how we have now started a conversation? You then reply, “I own XYZ Landscaping and I maintain the homeowner’s yard so they don’t have to worry about when they will make the time to cut their grass. Knowing that my company is taking care of their yard helps reduce their stress and worry and they now have more time to enjoy with their family.”

Don’t think that your business is different. This concept can work in any industry whether you provide a product or a service.

Action Step: Spend some time thinking about what problems you solve for your customers. Find a creative way to explain how your company solves those problems. Write out your answer and practice it until you have it memorized.

The next time someone asks you, “What do you do?”, you will be prepared to engage them in conversation and potentially gain a new customer.


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