Sorry. No One Cares About Your Job Title
You: Hi. What do you do for a living?
Tom: I’m a Chief Finance Officer for company XYZ. Last year we made an annual turnover of over £500 million and we’re doing much better than our competition. My company is one of the biggest in Europe. We’ve been around for over 25 years. We have customers all over the world. Everything is going perfectly well for us. Actually, we are just about to acquire a new company.
Here’s my business card.
You: **Oh no. Not again!** Erm… Thanks
Sounds familiar? If not, maybe you should network more often.
Sorry. No one cares about your job title and your meaningless accomplishment.
Four years ago, I vowed my life to the African community. Why? So I can teach African men and women how presentation and packaging makes a significant improvement in attracting customers. Common sense, right? Believe me, it is not.
For this reason, I have attended several African caribbean networking events in London. I met hundreds of professionals, students and top executives from different industry and background. And one thing that 98.99% of these people have in common is a lame introduction that will instantly make you wish you were at home playing Candy Crush.
So the question is; when was the last time you met someone who intrigued you at a networking event? Or rather… When was the last time you inspired someone at a networking event? OR captured their attention? OR sparked their interest?
Most people just talk about what they do and bog you down with their long list of skills and credentials — they tell you their educational background, they give you an extensive list of skills and what they are good at, and usually they brag about the projects they have worked on, companies they have worked with, professional certificates they have worked hard for and awards from organisations you’ve never heard of.
Frankly, I don’t care! and no one gives a hoot about your fancy job title and accolades. Just so you know, If I wanted to know about your credentials, skills and experience, I will check out your Linkedin profile.
What we do care about is your passion, and we care about ourselves.
In the words of Simon Sinek:
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” — Simon Sinek
In my own words:
“People don't care about what you do; they care about why you do it” — Kay Akinwunmi [Click to Tweet]
Networking and meeting new people should be an exciting and inspiring experience. In fact, I believe it is a divine moment, where two souls share their burning passion, purpose and create meaningful professional/business relationship of a lifetime.
But, we do care about your Why
Most people understand WHAT they do and HOW they do it. Usually people bore you with their job title and responsibilities — their what and how. But very very few people communicate their WHY.
By Why, I mean what is your purpose? belief? calling? passion or cause? People rarely communicate this important aspect of their lives. Why did you get out of bed today? Why should anyone care? What is your vision?
Why is what connects people together. Why makes people tick. Why creates clarity. Why sets you apart from the crowd.
When you start each introduction with your Why, you open up a pathway to increased business opportunities and valuable relationships.
Meet the new Tom
Okay, now let’s get back to the previous conversation with you and Tom. Let’s see how Tom will get on if he use a system called the Golden Circle inspired by Simon Sinek in his book, ‘Start With Why’.
To keep it short: You simply know your WHY (purpose or cause), then craft your HOW (benefits or system) and WHAT (features or process) to align with your WHY (purpose or cause). Enjoy.
Use this template whenever you want to spark interest, get attention or to win business. Remember it’s a conversation, not a monologue.
You: Hi. What do you do?
Tom: Hi. Perhaps you may have realised that African and Caribbean businesses in the UK lag behind when it comes to presentation and packaging? As you can imagine, because of this many struggle to get customers [WHY]
Pause for 1–2 seconds. Yes, it’s awkward but do it! Wait for acknowledgement. Note: your WHY doesn’t have to be anything superficial, it just need to be what you believe or the reason why you get out of bed that morning.
You: I work for a marketing agency that support African and caribbean businesses that are struggling to attract customers. We specialise in teaching businesses how to capture the attention and interest of customers using creative ideas. [WHAT]
At this stage, Tom would either ask you how does your company help businesses to attract customers, or what is your role within the company, or he could deviate to the issue of presentation & packaging.
Tom: Interesting, tell me more
You: Usually, businesses who finds it hard to attract customers approach us for help. Typically we help with branding, website design and content marketing solutions. My role as a Marketing Consultant is to listen to clients’ previous marketing efforts and challenges they are currently facing in their business, identify opportunities and present new solutions.
Actually, the best part of my job is brainstorming ideas with people, and seeing those ideas manifest into design and systems that solves real life problems.
That’s what I do.
I help African Caribbean businesses to attract customers. [HOW]
Note: This is where you actually go into your job responsibility or job title if needed. Keep it brief and always assume the person you are speaking to is a potential client or could know someone who may need your service in the future.
That is how you can effectively start a business building dialogue with a total stranger. Your first ten words count a lot more than the next one thousand words.
Most people would ask for your business card at this stage. If not, be sure that you have left a remarkable impression on the person forever.