When you're asked 'What do you do?' How do you respond?

I know for a fact that so many Virtual Assistants respond with "I'm a Virtual Assistant. I work from my home office and provide administrative support to other business owners."

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. (Can you hear me scream?).

When I first started my business in 2003, I used those EXACT words at my very first networking event.

I very walked into a business filled attorneys, financial planners, mortgage brokers, realtors and other professionals. I was scared... but somewhat confident at the same time. I had always done well in my years of work and this was no different other than it was now my business I was going to be talking about.

I nervously walked around the room, made eye contact and smiled at new faces... and happily extended my hand when someone introduced themselves to me.

But then it happened and it was a moment I will NEVER forget.

A very nice lady shook my hand, told me her name and a little bit about her business. Then she asked, "Cindy, tell me about yourself; what do you do?"

I smiled... excited to tell her about my brand new business.

So I did... I said "I'm Cindy Greenway and I'm a Virtual Assistant. I have my own small home based business where I provide administrative support to small businesses."

Then there was the awful pause and somewhat of a blank look on her face. She looked uncomfortable but then slowly smiled and said "That's great... nice to meet you, Cindy." And then she moved on.

Can you relate?

This exact same situation happened a few more times in the same evening. Some went one step further and asked me what a Virtual Assistant was. But overall the night was horrible... but good enough that I'm still here today to plead with you -- if you're using this introduction (or anything remotely close to it) at your networking events or anywhere else, please, PLEASE stop.

Networking - of any kind is not about you. It's not about your 'Virtual Assistant' title. It's not about you working from your home office, and charging for only the time you spend one your client's work.

It's about the people you're there to network with (hopefully your target market).

It's about knowing about them, asking them questions, sharing with them how you can help THEM... using specific terms that you know about their industry or about their individual challenges.

It's about THEM and how you can help them with solutions to the pain they experience.

How will you take action on this immediately and tell them what's in it for them?

Author's Bio: 

Cindy Greenway, author of 'Virtually Successful: 8 Simple Ways for Virtual Assistants to Find (and Keep) Clients", is the Co-Founder and lead trainer at HotSkillsVATraining.com. Since starting her business in 2003, Cindy has worked with highly respected and successful online entrepreneurs. She is most passionate about training and mentoring within the Virtual Assistant community. Get Cindy's " 7 Tips to Creating a Virtually Successful VA Business" free report at http://www.VirtuallySuccessful.com