How many times have you stumbled over the simple question: “So, what do you do?”

And how do you generally respond?  Do you usually say: “I’m a trial lawyer at the law firm of X.”

If so, responding in this fashion means nothing other than to stroke your ego and leave the other person wanting to head for the door.

The real response should focus on what value and benefits you bring to people and be outward facing.

In other words, if you’re an IP lawyer, why not state, “I protect the trade secrets and intellectual property assets of companies so they can maintain a competitive edge.” Or, “I help injured workers get fully compensated for their injuries.”  Or, “I assist families sell their companies and protect/transfer inter-generational wealth”.

Can you see the difference it will make when you answer the question with what value and benefits you bring the table and how you positively affect their lives? 

When your answer to the dreaded questions starts with I “help”, “assist”, “teach”, “guide”, or some other service and benefit -laden related verb, not only will  set yourself apart from other ego-driven lawyers, but will show your prospects what value you deliver, how you change people’s lives for the better and start a real conversation… as the other person will undoubtedly say…”How do you do that and let’s talk”!

And that’s the real purpose of an elevator pitch.