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?”
In 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 know 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.”
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.