I meet a lot of people every day. When I ask them what they do, they tell me, "I sell insurance." or "I'm a financial advisor." What they don't realize is an answer like that tends to 'close' down the other person's inquisitiveness immediately. Unless the person has a real interest in talking with you, they will probably move to another topic or another person.
I tell my clients to 'Get Visceral'. Instead of talking about what you do for a living, tell them how you impact people's lives. Touch their hearts. Engage their emotions. Get them to truly feel how you make a difference.
When I'm at a meeting/expo/conference and people ask me what I do, I say, "I make people's dreams come true." That answer IMMEDIATELY encourages the person to ask me another question, "And how do you do that?" They're hooked — I know I have them and I start reeling them in.
I then talk to all things I do for my clients — rather than categorizing myself into a cubbyhole — I paint a vivid picture of all the areas of business life I touch.
Here's an example — If you sell insurance and someone asks you about what you do — show them. Give them a big hug or two-handed handshake and tell them you make your clients feel infinitely secure — without worry. That will bring up a myriad of follow-up questions.
At the very least, it makes the discussion more fun and lively. If all goes well, you might get a new client.
What do you do to touch people's hearts when talking about what you do?