What can I do for you? These are my new favorite words. In the business world, nobody cares how nice a guy you are or how much you know. They don’t care what you do in your free time or how much experience you have. If they wanted to know those things they’ll ask later. No, what they really want to know, is what you can do for them. And they don’t want to guess, assume, or figure it out. They want to hear it loud and clear. They also don’t want to hear the pitch. They don’t want to know all of the services you provide. They want to know “what can you DO for ME?”
I’ve read and heard it over and over, but it’s finally clicked. It’s nothing personal. But if you’re going to ask for someone’s money, or someone’s time or effort they need to know specifically what they’re paying for. Then they’ll want to know how you’re different or about your pets or hobbies, or your story. But they really don’t care about those things until they know what they’re going to get out of the relationship. Because otherwise the small talk ain’t worth it.
I just went on a job interview for an incredible opportunity, but the interview took me by surprise. The interviewer asked me one question, then told me what his company could offer me. And I got confused. I know it’s a great place to work, I want to work here! Why aren’t you asking me more questions? What was the only thing he asked? “Tell me about yourself.” Today I realized that I missed an important cue. I was in a business conversation. He doesn’t care about my experience or background — he can see that on my resume in front of him. He wants to know what I can bring to his company, then tell me what his company can bring to me. Open your eyes, friends, and ask yourself what you can do for other people, because in this world, that’s what matters first.
So friends, what can I do for you?