So… What Do YOU Do? (awkward pause begins…)


It’s happened to all of us.

We are at a social gathering with people we don’t know and the obvious question comes up… “So… What Do You Do?”

And what do you say?

Here are some I’ve heard… and what they are thinking after hearing….

YOU: “I’m a marketing consultant.”

THEM: (Wow, sounds exciting! I’m going to grab another drink, nice to meet you.)

YOU: “I have my own business.”

THEM: (Yeah, that’s nice, good for you. You want me to pull teeth to get more details or is it time to bolt to the bathroom?)

YOU: “I’m in the Health and Wealth business… which one do you want to hear first?”

THEM: (OK, I’m ready to throw up… definitely bolting to the bathroom. Bye!)

Forget all those lame, generic answers…. BE INTERESTING!

Use this 3 part formula for your own business…

1) Ask a question they’ll say Yes to. Here’s an example. “You know how millions of people use Google every day to find the products that they are looking for?” Asking a question like that engages the other person, and in their mind they visually see themselves using Google to find things online and their answer will most likely be ‘Yes I do’.

2) Say exactly what it is you do. ‘Well, I help small businesses get their website to the top of the first page of Google for the keywords that people use to find their business…” The other person will now understand exactly what it is you do, and now is the time to tell them the main reason why people work with you.

3) List the main benefit your business provides. “So that they get more leads, book more clients, and make more money!” This is the easiest way for the person you just met to think you’re interesting… and say… “WOW, that sounds interesting, how do you do that exactly!” Congrats, you social butterfly, you’re now the life of the party! 🙂

Leave me your comments below and tell me the lamest answers you’ve ever heard when you asked someone what they do…


By Ken

By Ken Hammond.

17 replies on “So… What Do YOU Do? (awkward pause begins…)”

Great post. I enjoy specific examples. My frequent loss of words due to my natural shy behavior is a serious setback. I find that people love to talk about themselves which is what usually saves me during awkward silence. I just start asking questions and taking interest in them instead of talking about me. I have almost 15 years in my line of work and all the industry experience in the world will never compensate for lack of solid communication skills.

Hello Ken,

What do you think about this as a come back?

Well, I help small business owners protect and grow their business with unlimited access to Legal & Business Resources so they can do the things they need to be doing to keep the business running smooth.

When small business owners have access to areas such as Legal, Collections, Marketing, Tax & Accounting, Human Resources, Management, Technology, and Advertising, it allows the small business owner to spend more time doing what they need to be doing to get more clients, and make more money!

They now have access to any and all issues that may come up and get help by picking up the phone anytime they need it without it costing them an arm and a leg. The best part is that they no longer have to worry about how much it is going to cost them to get the help they need.

How soon would you like to take a look at a 15 minute webinar and see what I offer?

Keep up the great work Ken and God bless!

Sometimes it is difficult to remember to focus on the want and need. McDonalds does it so well. No NEEDS their fries, but we all WANT them, and they are super rich because of it!

Since I'm a self employed web designer/writer/Social media ho/SEO pro-wannabe, my standard answer is actually a question, "What DON'T I do?" Then I relent. I'm a communicator. My job is to get convey your message to everyone else.

Excellent way to give people a reason to ask for more information. Now I know why my closure rate on leads has been weak. I am going to start using this wisdom when I get inbound phone calls for my work at home advertising.

By the way, I have learned more about marketing online in one year with GVO and GVO Academy than I did in the previous 4 years of working online.


Awesome information, you know how to simplify this awkward question.

You are a true Maverick, I am proud to call you friend. Thank you.

I have struggled with this question for a long time.

This makes it so easy, keep them coming please.

Ken Pringle

The lamest answer I have heard when I ask this question is.

I work in an mlm business online.

Hey there Mr Ken Hammond, Sorry I don't have any nuggets for this one. I'm with Doug Casady on this one. Although a lot still depends on your social skills. A socially inadequate person is able to make the most interesting of jobs sound boring to most listeners. I can do that very well. Most useful information as usual Ken. Keep up the good work.

Hi Ken,

This post is so awesome! I struggle with this in social situations so much. I'm very new to promoting myself as a marketer… I've been a Brick and Stone Mason for the past 40 years, and now telling people "I am working online" does sound so lame! However, posts of encouragement like this are "golden nuggets of wisdom" that keep me going. Thanks so much for your help!!

Awesome Doug… glad I could help.

Write it down and read aloud a few times and

you'll have no problem from now on!

– Ken

Thanks Doug… you'll get it down and nail it. Want to practice with me?

"Nice to meet you Doug.. So, what do you do?"

(Doug replies here…)

Hi Ken… My first try at practicing must have sent you to the bathroom, or for a drink or both!….LOL!

let's try again… "You know how people are searching Google regularly to find a solution to a problem they trying to solve?

Thanks Ken..

Yes, Doug… I had to run to the bathroom!

To answer your question…

You mean, "You know how people search on Google to find answers to problems?"

Why… Yes!

Well Ken, "I help small businesses get their website to rank on the first page of Google based on keywords that people search with to find the the services that they have to offer"