1. Make sure you’re ready to exchange business cards. Judge and be judged.
Always have something to say about current events.
2. Like interest rates! “We haven’t been in a raising rate environment for years, what will this do to bond issuance and deal flow?”
3. “Can you believe Congress got so close to defaulting on the debt? It’s like these House Republicans don’t know who funds their campaigns!”
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5. “If only there was a businessman in the White House, we wouldn’t have all these problems.”
6. “But it’s even worse overseas. Try doing a deal in Russia? Doesn’t work unless you know Putin.”
7. “It’s not too great here though. I mean, capital gains taxes, they’re 20%!”
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9. (New York only) “I’ll miss him, he actually understands how important businesspeople are to the economy.”
But current events are a huge bummer, so maybe talk about something everyone in business does way too much: travel.
10. “When’s the last time you went to Japan? Long flight, great restaurants. Culture is definitely a bit different.”
And your commute.
12. “I spend more time waiting for the Metro North than I do with kids.”
13. “The only thing worse than flying commercial is my buddy’s tiny plane.”
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14. “Ugh, and the walk from Grand Central to the office. In the winter it’s like circumnavigating Antarctica.”
If none of this works, focus on recreational activities.
15. “I got a new golf pro and my swing is a-may-zing.”
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16. “But it’s hard to find any young people to play with.”
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18. Sure enough, someone will pitch you on a “great investment idea.”
20. “It’s a can’t miss opportunity, the returns will be amazing!”
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21. It might be a great idea!
24. And if all else fails, just memorize Andrew Sorkin’s column and quote portions of it in response to every question.
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