April 9, 2007

Improving Your Introductions

You're in a social gathering. Other attendees may become potential clients. Or not.

Any social occasion,
it's "Hello, how do you do?"
All those introductions,
I never miss my cue
So before a question,
so before a doubt
My hand moves out and ...
I have the touch.
--- Peter Gabriel, I Have The Touch (1982)

How do you introduce yourself?
  • Do you state your profession: advisor, financial planner, estate planning specialist
  • Do you say what you do: I reduce reduce taxes, I invest money for clients
  • Do you say something provocative: I sell death benefit
For years, I'd say "I'm an actuary", which would elicit a blank stare and possibly questions about why car insurance costs so much. Not really a conversation starter.

A typical introduction is too short and puts the onus on the other person to figure out what you do. That can lead to misunderstandings and stereotypes. For example, actuary = probabilities = boring = scram.

An Approach
Here's an approach from Michael Oliver of naturalselling.com. Say the following:
  1. "You know how ..."
  2. "Well, I ..."
  3. "Have you ever ..."
An Example
Let's try it. I'll go first.
You know how we're surrounded by risks we can't do much about (e.g., global warming, air quality, war)? Well, I help tame financial risks -- which we can tackle. I blend actuarial science with business sense to give peace of mind. Have you taken steps to measure and manage your financial worries?
Does that draw you in?

Your Turn
Now it's your turn.

What do you think?

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