Have you seen how many profiles you’re competing against?
I once asked a male friend to log into the dating site I used, to show me what comes up when a man searches for a woman in my age group.
It was an eye-opener.
Picture after picture. Smiling faces of every shade and size. Some sassy, some sultry, some sweet, some shy. After a few minutes, they all blurred together. How could a guy even begin to choose among them?
I went home that evening and revised my profile. From then on, I was going to stand out.
In marketing, there’s a term that refers to the ability of a product to stand out from the crowd. It’s called the USP, or Unique Selling Proposition.
People have USPs, too.
If you’re selling a service, it’s the pitch you give people to convince them to choose you over the other guy. Maybe what makes you unique is your quick turnaround time, or the way you understand your clients’ needs, or the breadth of your experience.
As a romantic prospect, you need a USP to stand out from the sea of other single women.
Men won’t choose you unless you give them a reason to choose you.
But how do you deliver your pitch in a way that doesn’t sound like, “Pick me! Pick me!”?
Imagine you’re standing at a crowded bar. The guy next to you turns, smiles, and holds out his hand. “Hi, I’m Chuck,” he says. “Busy here tonight, isn’t it?”
He’s cute enough, so you introduce yourself back. “Yeah, it’ll be closing time by the time the bartender gets to us. Hi, I’m Jenny. Nice to meet you.”
“Pleased to meet you.” He leans in closer. “So, what do you do, Jenny?”
Think before you answer.
This is your chance to deliver your USP.
In just one sentence, you must captivate his interest by giving him just enough information to pique his interest … and enough mystery to pique his curiosity.
Blow it by giving him the standard 3-word answer—“I’m an X”—and you’ll have missed an important chance to make a lasting first impression.
Let’s back up a moment.
Why do you think he even asked you what you do for a living?
Do you think he cares what your answer is? Is he going to snub you because your career choice isn’t up to his standards?
Of course not.
What he’s really doing is fishing for something to talk about. He’s hoping your answer will be a springboard for conversation.
If you tell him, “I’m a consultant,” then he can ask you questions about what a consultant does, where you work, whether you like it, and how often you come into the city. He’s not actually all that interested in your answers. He just wants to keep you talking until he decides how much he likes you.
So why not deliver above and beyond his expectations?
“I’m the queen of organization, so I consult for small companies who are looking at restructuring, which gives me plenty of time to indulge in my real passion, sailboarding.”
In just one sentence, you’ve let him know a little bit about your personality, your work habits, and your hobbies. Which could neatly lead into an invitation to come with you sailboarding sometime.
Even if you don’t end up clicking with Chuck romantically, he might be the owner of a small business that’s looking at restructuring. Or he may have a friend you should meet who’s just as passionate about sailboarding as you are. Had you just said, “I’m a consultant,” you might have missed those opportunities.
You’ll be asked what you do so many times in life that it pays to prepare.
How can you explain what you do in a way that captures the attention of someone you’ve just met?
Don’t think there’s anything unique or exciting about what you do? Then find ways to turn your answer in a direction that is interesting.
- What is the one trait that makes you excellent at your job?
- Do you love what you do or where you work? If so, why?
- Can you describe what you do, rather than rattling off your job title?
- Are you just making time at your current position until something opens up in your dream career?
- Do you have a hobby or a passion that’s almost like a second job?
If you do it right, he’ll remember you by your USP long after he’s forgotten your name and what you looked like.
I did a lot of online dating in my 30s, and I can’t remember most of the men I met. But I can recall a few. One man was a sea captain. Another was an entrepreneur interested in renewable energy. Yet another fancied himself a bodybuilder (masking the fact he was shorter than I was). Don’t ask me what any of their names were; all I remembered were their USPs.
So don’t count on your looks or your stellar personality to stand out from the crowd. Market yourself. Tell him exactly why he shouldn’t forget you.
It sure beats 4” heels.
Like this topic and want to learn more?
Your Brilliance expert author James Bauer offers more tips on how to use an ‘Elevator Pitch’ to enhance your charismatic charm.