The Most Famous Networking Question - "So, what do you do?"

Posted by Michael Hurczyn on September 30, 2015

In Inbound Sales

It's a question that gets asked a lot.  You meet someone new at a networking event, and inevitably they ask, "So, what do you do?"

What's the right answer? How do you distill that into something that won't immediately bore your new friend?  

Rick Roberge has a simple approach to shifting the conversation off of you by replying, "I've been known to bore people in 5 seconds or less.  What do you do?"  This lightens the mood and allows you to hear about what your new friend does, ask clarification questions and see if you can find common ground.  


However, eventually it may be your turn to share.  My answer sometimes has been, "My wife and I run 710 Studios, a marketing and sales agency, and HubSpot Partner," but what the heck does that mean?  I've gone down that path many times, and I never liked where it ended up.  Too convoluted. Too much to explain. Too much about me.

What we really do is help companies get found online, and then help them strategize how to turn website visitors into sales.  So, I've started telling people just that.  

A typical reaction may be, "Ok. That all sounds good, but how do you do that?"

Most companies we work with come to us looking for a website redesign but end up with a strategic Game Plan, and then a website redesign and 3-6 month inbound marketing campaign. How do you redesign a website without knowing how it needs to function to complete what goal(s)? Most of the time we will use HubSpot to implement everything.  Do you know the most difficult way to implement HubSpot?

Zzzzzz... I probably started to lose you with that last paragraph. 

The same thing would have happened if I tried to explain that to somebody I literally just met at a networking event.  

There's a better way!


I attended Karl Sakas's session at INBOUND15.  He has a great way of narrowing down the possible offerings for an agency to 3 simple points with his S-I-T framework.
Strategy — Your client is saying, “Tell me what to do
Implementation — Your client is saying, “Do it for me
Training — Your client is saying “Teach us how to do it ourselves.”
This approach can probably work for other service-oriented businesses as well - Lawyers, Financial Advisors, Bookkeepers, Accountants, etc...

Tell them what you do for others vs. how you do it.  

"I help companies get found online and then help them strategize how to turn website visitors into sales."

Then, if they ask about the "getting found online" part, I tell them, "Sometimes clients say to me, 'Tell me what to do' and they hire 710 Studios to create a Game Plan." 

"Sometimes, they review the Game Plan and ask, 'Can you do it for me?' and 710 Studios will execute part or all of the Game Plan."

If they ask about the "website visitors into sales" part, I'll say, "Sometimes companies are generating plenty of leads, but those leads aren't converting.  I can help in that area, but have you heard about what my friends are doing at Unbound Growth?"

Anything beyond that is probably too much for a first date.  If they seem interested in continuing the conversation, suggest that you exchange business cards and schedule a call.  

So... What do you do when someone asks, "So, What do you do?"  Please share your story in the comments section.  




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