By: Daniel C. Finley

Creating A Great Elevator Speech

Picture this…you are at a networking event, on vacation or even in an elevator, when you strike up a quick conversation with a stranger and the next thing you know they ask you the inevitable question, “So, what do you do?”. You immediately try to think of the perfect thing to say. This is your moment to shine! But, do you? Or do you simply give a generic response such as, “I’m a financial advisor with XYZ firm.”

During this type of scenario, most advisors panic because they simply haven’t taken the time to create a unique “elevator speech”. In fact, many do not understand what actually makes a great elevator speech in the first place. I recently read a great definition, “An “elevator speech” is a short description of what you do, or the point you want to make, presented in the time it takes an elevator to go from the top floor to the bottom floor or vice versa.”

How do I create a great “Elevator Speech”?

In order to create a terrific elevator speech you must first understand the formula. I’ve heard many elevator speeches as well as researched many ways to create them but I believe the best elevator speeches do the following:

  1. Informs the listener of who you are and what your credentials are.
  2. States your unique proposition statement.
  3. Creates curiosity in the listener to ask questions.
  4. Gives you the opportunity to ask additional questions and create a connection.

The Key to a Creating Your “Elevator Speech”

The preceding four step formula is important to not only understand but to utilize while generating your elevator speech. However, the most vital part of the formula is stating your unique proposition statement.

Your name and credentials are like the appetizer to the main course, they set the stage for the most important information that you want to give—what makes you unique. If done properly, it creates the curiosity needed to further the conversation with them asking questions. If done improperly, it simply receives an acknowledgement statement such as, “Oh, I see”. Your question back to them is like dessert, it allows the listener to get engaged in the conversation and make a better connection by telling their story.

Following is a series of unique proposition statements to help you better understand the process and formulate your own elevator speech.

Financial Advisor Unique Proposition Statements

Selling the Specifics

Sometimes using specifics about what you do can for your target market can create an incredible amount of credibility as well as curiosity.

“I have a team that specializes in building and preserving wealth for doctors by utilizing the recent Supreme Court ruling”

(Notice the curiosity that you felt? If you were a doctor, you would be asking the question “What ruling?”)

Painting the Perfect Picture

In this approach, financial advisors are painting the perfect picture to pull the listener into the conversation by helping them understand what they do through the use of stories, analogies and metaphors. It’s a powerful technique when done properly can take a complex business and boil it down to its simplest form:

 “You know how a great symphony needs a conductor to organize the musicians or it’s just a bunch of noise? Well, I’m kind of like a financial conductor who organizes, recommends and manages all of your financial investments.”

The Rhetorical Question

Using rhetorical questions in an elevator speech gets the listener to immediately think about what you are saying. It pulls them in to hear more.

“Do you think multi-millionaires or billionaires manage their own investments? Well, I do the exact same thing for people with $500,000 or more in assets and I can do that with unique technology that I use.”

The Problem Solver Analogy

In this technique the elevator speech is designed to solve a common problem but in a way that uses an analogy or metaphor to help get your point across.

 “I’m like mortar. I make sure a family’s wealth does not crumble between generations.”

Whatever unique proposition you use, remember to make it your own. It’s your stamp to show the world what makes you, you.

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