I set my pen on the table. If they are interested, they’ll ask about my pen. If not, I’ll pick it up when we’re done talking.
That’s one of the most asked questions in our 1st world culture. Even for those that aren’t completely interested in my business – it’s the safest introduction line when someone doesn’t know what else to talk about.
I tell them, “Social Web Presence.” If they don’t inquire further, they’re not interested. There’s no reason to ramble on about myself in the self dilluted hopes that “if they only had more information they would be interested”. If the person across the table inquires, I give a proportionate answer. I don’t punish them with a 10 minute monologue—simply because they gave a polite response.
Place the “pen” on the table. When they’re interested they’ll say, “Hmm, I like that pen.” at which point I pick up the pen and explain it to them.
I’ll give you detailed information about who I am and what I do. I’ll discuss all facets of my industry as long as you are interested… but only after you’ve asked for more information. There are many people that want to be clients, but only after getting to know more about me. The purpose is in the hearing… not the speaking. I can talk until I’m blue in the face, and unless I”m talking about what they’re interested in… they aren’t listening. A lot of times, they’re just waiting for me to stop talking so they can go into their rehearsed speech about what they do and how I should give them money.
Listen, listen, listen.
Hold the pen up (or even offer it to them). Explain the highlights of a pen and ask them how they could use a pen or what their interest is in a pen.
When you answer what you do, give a short version and wait for them to ask for the full story. Then and only then should you go into detail. Keep in mind that one of the greatest assets and liabilities of a salesperson, marketing specialist, or business person is the passion and enraptured focus on what they do for a living. After all, it’s rarely all about you.