Regardless of whether you operate a large corporation, home based business or are a sales professional... your future success may rest entirely on one single question. I have come to refer to it as... the “Magic Question”, because it's the one question that you simply can't avoid.

Where ever you go in the future... a Chamber of Commerce function, business event, networking meeting, community activity, social event or even to the golf course, you will continually encounter new people. Each and every time that you meet someone new, you will be posed again and again with the exact same question... “What do you do for a living?” How you answer this all important question of “What do you do?” will have a major impact on your future success.

How you introduce yourself to others is far more important than you might realize. According to the latest research report, when someone visits your website -- they will make the decision to stay and look around or to leave... in just 1/20th of a second. Another report also reveals that you (like everyone else) see and hear an average of 3,181 marketing messages every single day. So, how long do you think that you have in the real world to engage someone’s attention before they tune you out? Actually, it’s only a few short seconds.

Your introductory “elevator” speech or one minute networking introduction will in all likelihood fall on deaf ears. What I find particular interesting about the whole introductory process, is how people typically respond when afforded the opportunity to relate to others what they “do”. When posed with the age old question “What do you do?” the predictable response is invariably:

“I’m a plumber...” (elevator speech response)

“Good afternoon. I’m Carol Adams and I’m a mortgage officer with Main Street Bank...” (networking response)

Here’s the problem with this customary response... No body cares “who” you are or who you’re with! Your introduction does not capture the person’s attention and simply fails to engage them. After these first few seconds of your introduction, the potential prospect has already determined in their mind what it is that they “think” that you do and has resultantly tuned out the balance of your statement.

Honestly, think about it... if I said that I was a plumber... how long would it take for you to assume what it is that you “think” that I do? You’re exactly right... about a heart beat. The bigger issue is that the prospect has already decided that you can’t help them solve their problem. So, where is the rational logic in answering the question about what you “do”... by responding who you are?

The reality is that everyone that you come in contact with has some kind of problem to solve and are actively seeking a solution. They are in constant search mode looking for the right person who can provide the best solution for their problem.

Not only are you missing out on the opportunity to engage the prospect’s full attention, you are also missing out on the secondary opportunity to potentially connect with the 250 people that the prospect knows. Even if the prospect’s problem isn’t the one that you solve, they will clearly understand the problem that you do solve -- and will be far better prepared to share that knowledge with others that they know.

Wouldn’t it make far more sense for your introductory marketing message (IMM) to address the main problem that you solve and the solution that you provide? When you can learn how to effectively communicate this optimum introductory marketing message -- it will be far more effective in attracting viable prospects who are predisposed to purchasing the solution that you provide.

When you develop the right introductory marketing message... it’s like capturing lightning in a bottle! If you want to have a more effective and compelling introductory marketing message, start focusing on exactly what problem it is that you best solve.

Copyright © 2010 Developing Forward | Thomas H. Swank, CBC | All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Is your business stuck, "struggling" to grow or just trying to survive? Is everything else in life controlling yours? Take control of your business, life and the plans you hold for the future. Let top ranked Business Coach Tom Swank show you how you can “accelerate your business growth and income”! Register to receive Tom’s business improvement articles and free Special Report "7 Keys to accelerating your busines growth & income" at