The Business Conversation

 With holiday parties just around the corner, now is the perfect time to master our business conversation.

A business conversation starter you need to be prepared to answer includes: “What do you do for a living?”

The Business ConversationIn the September 23, 2013 Investment News issue asked a variety of advisors how they respond to the question: “What do you do for a living?”

Out of the eight that were quoted, two began with: “I am a CFP®” and “I am a professional”.  Three began with: “We are, We believe or We help.” Only one began by asking if he could first ask a question.

So what are the most effective elevator speeches or business conversation starters?

First get clear on who you serve (your ideal client).  Also identify the value you provide.  Next write out several business conversation starters to ensure your message resonates with your prospect. For example, if you are talking with a retired couple your conversation starter needs to resonate with them.

In this case, when asked: “What to do you do for a living?” Respond by asking: “Do you formula for success 273-300-OPknow how most retired couples are worried about outliving their money?  We design a plan to ensure they make the best choices so they don’t outlive their resources.”

If you don’t have a plan, attend our next 3 Step Business Plan training here: 3 Step Formula

Why is this approach more powerful than “I am” or “We believe”?  First, when we begin with “I am” or “We believe”, the other person either tunes us out or puts their defenses up because they think they will be sold, persuaded or convinced to do something. Instead, when we ask a question, we engage the prospective client and encourage them to participate and tune into a conversation with us.  We dramatically increase our odds of continuing the conversation which allows us to learn more about them and determine if a follow up meeting makes sense.

Before you get your party attire on, take a minute and write out your conversation starters.  Then practice your business conversation starters until you have a winning dialogue that will engage prospects in a conversation.  This will dramatically increase your odds of getting to know your prospective clients.  It will also provide an opportunity to discuss what you do and the value you provide.

If you would like to improve your holiday party conversation starter or elevator speech, access our free PMA360 membership here: copper small business resources


    • says

      Dear Barb,

      Thank you, you can always go to the bottom of the email to change your email address. We will get it changed this time! Glad you are enjoying our newsletter!


  1. Phill says

    Hi Annette, My speciality is Life, Total & Permanent, Critical Illness and Income Protection insurance. I descrbe my self as a Peace of Mind Designer, but it comes out pretty lame. Maybe you can suggest a conversation starter for what I do and believe in.

    • says

      Thank you for sharing your response! Please go back to the article and follow the format/ example I provided in a conversation style (like it is happening real time). I can then help you tweak it.

      Massive Success,


  2. Janice says

    Great article and timely. I basically make all of the mistakes you mentioned so I am committing to writing out and practicing a new opening.

    thank you

  3. Chris says

    Some food for thought. I’m going to improve my elevator speech with basically is “I am blah, blah, blah. 🙂