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Have you practiced your “Elevator Speech” lately?

July 15, 2019

Thanks for all your great feedback on last week’s “summer reading” post. Thanks to your suggestions, I have dozens of books downloaded and ready for fall and winter.

Summer travel season is also a great time to practice your “elevator speech.” I find it does not take long when sitting next to strangers on airplanes, airport lounges, or hotel lobbies to get to the “what do you do for a living” question.

Here is my well-tested – and quite effective – response: “I run a trade association for community life insurers.”

That almost always provokes this reply: “What’s a community life insurer?”

And that opens the door to my “elevator speech” that goes something like this: “Community life insurers are not-for-profit membership organizations that provide their members a variety of life insurance and retirement income products. Instead of paying dividends to investors, they use the proceeds from their financial services operations to fund projects and programs that reflect their members’ shared values and enhance the quality of life in communities where their members live and work.”

Generally, this is followed by stunned silence. But after a moment or two, it almost invariably leads to a more in-depth conversation about the history of fraternals (I eventually get around to explaining that this is the “official” name for this type of organization) and how my seatmate can get in touch with one that may work for them.

So, what do you think? I welcome your suggestions on how I can improve my “elevator speech.” But more importantly, I’d like to hear yours. Share it with me at jannotti@fraternalalliance.org and let me know if it’s OK for me to post it in a future “best of the bunch” blog.