When someone asks you what do you do? Do you respond correctly?

When someone asks you what do you do? Do you respond correctly?

This is an age old issue for most salespeople and insurance agents. Only a few good agents are very good at this aspect. They usually go one way or the other. Either they say way too much, anything over 45 seconds is too much. Or they are so direct with the job title, the person says “that’s nice”, but they are thinking “boring” or “I hope they don’t do their sales pitch on me“. Which one are you? How do you answer what do you do?

Think for just a minute. What is your 30 to 45 second elevator speech? Do people shut down after you say it? Do they engage you in valuable conversation? Do they just change the subject? Whichever the answer, you created the response by what you told them you do for a living. So, what do you do?

Let’s take an example of a life insurance agent. When approached what do you do? Do you say I’m a life insurance broker and that’s it? Holy cow, nothing says boring and run before you pitch me something better than that response! Or do you begin a 2 minute pitch on how good you are and all of your accomplishments? Again, run and don’t look back! Try to be engaging with you response that leaves the person asking wanting to know more. Try something like I’m an independent  life insurance broker representing top financial companies that specialize in helping middle class Americans secure a better future for themselves and their families. Together we design plans to not only secure assets but protect assets as well. All of this by staying within the client’s budget. At least with something along those lines, it is engaging to the person to say that’s interesting, how do you do that? Use enough mystery that they will continue to ask questions and stay engaged. Your elevator speech needs to draw in a person to want to learn more, but not so aggressive to turn them off completely. Remember, it’s the first introduction not the appointment for the presentation.

Think of it as a blind date. Not every prospect you meet, you want for a client or even has a need for your product or service. If your first date started with talk about marriage and children, you probably won’t have a second date. Trying to push too hard at the first introduction is as big of a turn off, as stating your title. The person will assume you are not the prospect he or she is looking for, since you didn’t tell them anything interesting.

Remember to answer the following questions in your elevator speech, who are you? What do you do? Who do you work with? Why are you unique? Why should I listen to you? It all needs to be under 45 seconds. Now go practice.

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds  that you plant.“–Robert  Louis Stevenson

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.


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