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Let’s say you have enough confidence to walk up to a stranger and start a conversation. Everything is going as planned then BAM, they ask the easiest, but hardest question for most people to answer, “what do you do for a living”.  When a stranger asks this question, many of us find our minds racing for an answer and get stuck? Why is this? No one has more to say about yourself than you, yet when asked that question, most people say very little.

In the book, First Impressions for the Business Professional – Why Some of Us Excel and Most of Us Fail, you’ll discover the AHEAD technique which will teach you how to make yourself instantly interesting and have other people give you permission to talk about yourself without bragging.

Talking about yourself is a balancing act between NOT putting yourself on a pedestal which is a turn off, and NOT making yourself appear insignificant which is a sure fire way to be forgotten in minutes.

Chances are if you walked up to a person and ask them what they do for a living today 8 out of 10 will give you a title and move on with the conversation. Chances are that title is so common it will be forgotten before the conversation ends.

So how do you ensure you’re not forgotten the next time you’re asked that question?  In order to balance your answer, I recommend utilizing the first part of the AHEAD technique (A & H).

  • A – Attention Grabber
  • H – Have a benefit

Here are a few examples of Attention Grabbers.

  • “I help people find the keys to their dreams.”
  • “I help maximize talent to ensure business goals are met.”
  • “I help people stand out in the crowd without saying a word.”

Do you notice something in common with these examples? None of them actually tell you what the person does for a living. They essentially tease you to want to know more. That is the key to crafting a killer attention grabber.

After building your Attention Grabber, you’ll need to follow it with a benefit.

Before you craft a benefit statement, it’s important to understand the difference between a benefit and feature.

Here are a few ways to remember the difference between features and benefits.
If you’re talking about a car:

A feature of the car is the air conditioning.

A benefit of the car is the comfort you will receive from the air conditioner in the summer.
Remember: A feature belongs to the product or service.

A benefit is the experience or what you gain from the product or service.

Write down five benefits that relate to what you do.


Full example:

Attention Grabber:  I help maximize talent to ensure business goals are met.

Have a benefit: I love my job because it allows me to utilize my problem-solving skills to build great leaders for my company.

Actual Job title: Business Manager

Key lesson: People who can clearly articulate what they do for a living almost instantly appear more interesting to others and create a great business first impression instantly.

Checkout our free elevator pitch builder.

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