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“The video about how to answer the ONE QUESTION is PURE GOLD. I hate to think how many times I’ve answered it and shot myself in the foot without even knowing it.”
~Trailblazer Michael Sturba of MicroPuzzles & Marketing Magic

Thanks, Mike, for that unexpected and totally awesome feedback! So glad you found it useful.

There’s ONE QUESTION you get asked hundreds of times every year and probably don’t think much about it.

But what if you’re giving the WORST possible answer, just like 99% of business owners do? Wouldn’t you want to know? And wouldn’t it be great if you could add 6 little words to your TERRIBLE answer and turn it into a TERRIFIC one?

You are, you do, and you can. Watch on, Trailblazers!

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This video has full captions you can turn on and read along if you wish. Here are instructions for turning them on.

1. Click the arrow button in the middle of the window to start Play.

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Use this list of time codes to find specific points we feel are most important You may want to fast forward to some of them if you’re in a hurry, but if you do, we hope you’ll watch the whole video, of course, because context certainly helps!

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HERE ARE THE CODES FOR THIS VIDEO. ENJOY!

00:31 – The question you get asked

00:36 – The answer you give that’s turning people off (and is probably a lie)

00:49 – Why you lie (it’s actually a good reason)

01:10 – Why your answer turns people off

01:43 – The right answer based on my dad’s advice

02:17 – Why this sounds especially dishonest and stupid when you’re actively marketing

02:41 – Another way to give the perfect answer

03:26 – Last piece of advice on answering questions about your biz

Hey, hey…it’s Raye with Trailblazers Connect! I hope you’re having a great day!

I’m having a great day. I’m actually headed out to a networking event a couple cities over (and YES I am wearing this hat…I don’t want to hear about it–am going to wear the hat!)

But before I head out I just need to tell you something that you’re probably doing when you’re out meeting people, or just talking to family and friends about your business–something that you think is really smart that’s actually really stupid.

Are you ready for this?

When people ask you, How’s business? I know what you’re saying. You’re saying: It’s great! Things are going well. It’s good! And maybe you even say a little bit more. In fact maybe you go on to say HOW GREAT things are.

Listen…I know you’re lying, and I know that you think it’s the right thing to say because nobody wants to do business with someone who can’t keep their shit together. So we puff ourselves up a little bit, we say that things are really good when–I mean MAYBE they ARE really good, but maybe they’re not.

Either way, here’s the problem. When someone asks, “How’s business?” and you say “It’s great!” Conversation over. You’re not vulnerable. You don’t need help. They’re not gonna ask if you need help. They’re not gonna think of you as someone who needs help. They’re not gonna keep you in mind when there is a possible, you know, introduction or opportunity. They’re just not going to because they think you’ve got it all covered.

So I get that we don’t want to lay everything out and say, “Oh, I’m struggling! I can’t even pay my mortgage!” I understand there’s a balance.

My dad had his own CPA practice for most of the years that I was growing up and I overheard him say this many times. Whenever anyone asks you, “How’s business?”

You should say, “it’s going really well…but I could always use more!” That keeps things open.

One thing you definitely don’t want to do is what I hear all the time at trade shows and when people call me on the phone to sell me stuff–I mean, they’re cold calling me, obviously they’re looking for more business, right? Here’s an example:

At a recent trade show I was visiting a 20-by-20 booth–it was huge. And the sales reps in there were telling me how they can’t even keep up with orders, they’re just so busy and so popular and there’s just so much money coming in and they just can’t even handle it.

And I’m thinking to myself, You spent a lot of money to be at this show so obviously you want more. So why are you gonna sit here and tell me how everything is great? It may be great, but I don’t want to help you now.

So there’s a balance! Don’t tell everyone all your problems, but be honest a little bit if you can, and even if things ARE awesome, they can always be awesomer! So…

A great answer is some version of this: “Things are great, but I’m always looking for more clients and new opportunities.” And that way you don’t seem inaccessible. You seem vulnerable, but in a good way, and then people will want to help you. And if someday you ever NEED to ask for help, it won’t feel so incongruous with all the times you said, “Yeah, I’ve got it all covered.”

Okay, I hope that makes sense!

I got my hat, I’m ready to head out to the local brewery to do a little networking!

I hope you enjoyed this video–there are lots more coming so if you liked it please share it, leave a comment, if you disagree tell me so [be honest…I don’t mind], and subscribe. But until I see you again right here on Trailblazers Connect, keep being a pioneer, a risk-taker, an innovator! Tell the truth but tell it in a way that makes people want to do business with you, okay?

I’ll see you soon. Keep blazing your own trail. Bye bye!