So, what do you do?

“So, what do you do?”  Many think that this is a “cliche” type of question.  Kind of like when you ask someone, “How are you?”  You may or may not really want to know, you are just being polite.

A lot of people dread being asked, “So, what do you do?”  Partially because they haven’t really figured out how to answer that question but also because they’ve been asked that question a thousand times and know that most people don’t truly listen to the answer.

I want to change all that.  How about if we stop asking each other the lame questions and let’s start asking meaningful and engaging questions.  Here are some questions that come to mind:

  • What’s the most exciting thing that happened in your business this past week?
  • What’s the most recent business book you’ve read and what did you like most about it?
  • What’s an emerging trend in your industry?
  • If you were to describe your favorite customer to me what would you say?
  • What other networking groups are you involved with?  Which are your favorites? Why?
  • What changes in technology do you see yourself implementing in the next 6 months?
  • Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently a year ago that would have had a major impact on your business?

And then there is always my favorite question from Bob Burg, author of Endless Referrals, “How will I know when I meet someone if they would be a good referral for you?”

Try one of these questions out (or create your own) the next time you are tempted to ask someone, “So, what do you do?”

I’m convinced you’ll have a better conversation and you’ll both come away having learned a lot more than you expect!

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