Explaining what you do, simply

In his book Unique Sales Stories, Mark Satterfield offered the following explanation for how to better explain what you do for a living. For example, if you’re a distribution channel consultant, you might explain what you do by saying this:

“I represent a company that’s best in class at optimizing the distribution channels between the core manufacturing center and the desired consumer experience.”

But that just makes people’s eyes roll into the back of their head in boredom and confusion. Instead, he suggests something like this:

“Well, suppose you’re in the chicken business. They’re pretty perishable things and I don’t know if you’ve ever unwrapped a chicken you’ve bought at the grocery store that’s gone bad, but it’s not an experience you want to repeat. Anyway, the tricky part is, how do you get the chicken from the farm to the retail store, in less than three days, all ready for cooking and smelling nice? That process has a lot of moving parts, a lot of people involved, actually a lot of different companies, and if one thing breaks down from farm to grocery store, the whole thing turns into an enormous, foul-smelling hair ball real quickly. So basically what I do is to look at all the steps in the process and try to figure out if there is some way we can do them faster, better, less expensively, or more efficiently.”

Do you have something like that to explain your job? If so, let me know at paul@leadwithastory.com.

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