You’re a financial advisor. You know your stuff: how to save, how to invest, how to plan for the future. When it comes to talking about what you do in a way that’s interesting and engaging? You freeze up.
It’s not uncommon to feel this way. In fact, many people in plenty of professions feel the same way when it comes to self-promotion. But as a financial advisor, it’s important to be able to talk about what you do in a way that will make people want to take a chance on you and your services.
The elevator speech is designed exactly for these situations. It’s a powerful tool that can help you make a great first impression, whether you’re at networking groups or meeting someone for the first time. Most importantly, you’re always ready to connect with anyone who may need your help in the future.
- An elevator pitch is not a script or a mini-seminar. You only have a couple of seconds to catch your prospect’s attention.
- Be as concise and jargon-free as possible to make sure that you don’t leave your prospect feeling lost.
- Share what you do but always put emphasis on how your services add value to your clients. Steps are written below to help you draft your perfect elevator pitch.
What Are Financial Advisor Elevator Pitches?
Also called the elevator pitch, the elevator speech is a short and sweet summary of what you can help your clients achieve as a financial advisor. The “elevator” part comes from the following elements:
- You have a limited amount of time to make your pitch (imagine being in an actual elevator with someone and they can get off at any minute)
- You have nothing with you to help you make your pitch (no PowerPoint presentation, no business cards, no project proposal)
- You’re making your pitch to a complete stranger (or someone you just met)
- Your pitch should want them to contact you even after they step off the elevator
Given these parameters, it’s no wonder so many financial advisors have trouble crafting an effective elevator speech or don’t have one at all. Worse, a bad elevator speech can actually do more harm than good by turning off potential clients.
What a Financial Advisor Elevator Speech is Not
Before we dive into tips for crafting an effective elevator speech, let’s first dispel what an elevator speech isn’t. This will help you avoid mistakes that can hurt your chances of making a great impression. A financial advisor elevator speech is not:
Imagine being in an elevator and someone just starts reciting a spiel that’s so obviously scripted. One, it’s going to come across as insincere. Two, it’s likely you won’t remember anything if they stop talking. That’s not the goal here.
The goal is to sound natural like you’re having a conversation. People are more likely to remember you if they feel like they had a human interaction as opposed to being talked at.
A mini seminar
A financial advisor elevator speech, or any kind of elevator pitch, is not the time to give a mini-seminar on financial goals and planning. Again, no one has time for that on an (imaginary) elevator. An unsolicited financial lecture is also a surefire way of turning someone off. Instead, focus on the most important aspects of what you do and how it can help your listener.
A sales pitch
This may sound ironic, because aren’t you trying to sell your services? Yes, but an elevator speech is not the time for a hard sell or any type of sale, for that matter. An elevator speech is a way to start a conversation and connect, not to close a deal. Reframing your mindset from “selling” to “serving” will help you come across as more genuine and trustworthy.
An opportunity to talk about yourself
This is one of the most common mistakes financial advisors make when crafting their elevator speeches. They focus on themselves instead of their clients. On one hand, it’s understandable: you want to make sure potential clients know you’re the expert they need. On the other hand, it comes across as self-serving and arrogant.
Remember, people don’t care about you or your firm. They care about themselves and their own needs. So make sure your elevator speech is focused on how you can help them, not on sharing your achievements or risk losing their attention and their business. There’ll be time for that later.
What Makes a Good Elevator Pitch for Financial Advisors?
Now that we’ve covered what an elevator speech isn’t, let’s move on to what makes an excellent one. The more of these elements you can pack into your speech, the more likely it is to resonate with your listener. The best elevator pitches are:
You only have a couple of minutes to deliver your pitch, so make them count. Avoid anything unnecessary or going off on tangents. Every word should serve a purpose. For example, avoid fluffy phrases and cliches like “we’re the best financial firm in town” or “we offer top-notch services.” Not only are these two sentences hard to back up, but they’re empty and forgettable.
Remember, you’re talking to a complete stranger. They are not going to understand jargon or industry-specific terms like “portfolio rebalancing” or “asset allocation.” Use terms that your target market actually uses in conversation.
Focused on the other person
With so many financial advisors today, it’s safe to say that your target client has options. In fact, they’ve probably been pitched before. So why should your prospects choose you?
The answer lies in understanding what your listener cares about and shaping your message around that. For example, if they’re nearing retirement, you might want to focus on how you can help them preserve their wealth and enjoy a comfortable retirement. On the other hand, if it’s a parent with a child in tow, they might be more interested in college planning and saving for the future. Tailor your message to meet their needs and you’ll be one step ahead.
When it comes down to it, people work with people, not businesses. This is especially true for financial advisors. Your service is very personal, so your elevator speech should reflect that. Avoid sounding like a robot by injecting some personality into your pitch. Share a quick story or make a joke (appropriate, of course). Anything to show that you’re a real person and not just a salesperson.
If you want people to trust you with their money, you need to come across as credible and knowledgeable. This means using facts, statistics, and data to back up your claims. For example, if you’re talking about how you helped a client preserve their wealth, share the percentage of growth or how much their savings passively grew since working with you.
A call to action
Finally, the best elevator speeches are the start of a conversation, not the end of it. Therefore, always give your listener a way to get in touch with you. This could be as simple as saying “I’d love to continue this conversation” or “If you have any more questions, I’m always happy to chat.” Then, hand them your business card or an information sheet with your contact details.
This is important because, at the end of the day, your goal is to start a relationship with this person. So make it as easy as possible for them to get in touch and take the next step.
How to Write Your Elevator Speech
Now that we’ve gone over what makes a great financial advisor elevator speech, it’s time to start crafting your own with a step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Define exactly what you have to offer as a financial advisor.
The process begins by understanding what you have to offer in the first place. The clearer you are on this, the easier it will be to distill it down into a short, concise message.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How would you label yourself as a financial advisor in one sentence?
- What are the three most important ways you can help your clients?
- What benefits would your clients miss if they skip your services?
- What sets you apart from other financial advisors in your area?
- What are the most common pain points or concerns of your target clients?
- How can you help them solve those pain points?
Include as many details as possible when you’re answering these questions. This is not your elevator speech yet – this is the brainstorming phase. The more information you have to work with, the easier it will be to narrow it down later on.
For example, let’s say you’re a retirement planning specialist. Your answers might look something like this:
- I’m a retirement planning specialist who helps people preserve their wealth and enjoy a comfortable retirement.
- The three most important ways I can help my clients are by reducing taxes, minimizing estate costs, and maximizing investment returns.
- My clients would miss out on significant tax savings, higher investment returns, and peace of mind if they passed on my services.
- Unlike other financial advisors, I work backwards from my client’s retirement dreams: what does a comfortable retirement mean to them? Only then do we reverse-engineer the plan to get them there.
- Most of my clients are worried about outliving their savings, so I help them develop a retirement plan that will last their lifetime.
See how that works? By the end of that exercise, you’ll have a stronger idea of what makes you unique as a financial advisor. This will come in handy later when we start piecing together your elevator speech.
Step 2: Write your elevator speech draft.
Now that you have a better idea of what you bring to the table, it’s time to start shaping your message. At this point, it doesn’t have to look perfect yet. In fact, it’s probably going to be pretty rough. That’s what we want because we’re going to be refining it as we go.
Here’s an example of what your first draft might look like, based on the information from Step 1:
“As a retirement planning specialist, I help people preserve their wealth and enjoy their retirement by minimizing taxes, estate costs, and maximizing investment returns. Unlike other financial advisors, I reverse-engineer my client’s retirement dreams to arrive at a plan that will last their lifetime without worrying about outliving their savings.”
See how that sounds? Not too bad, right? However, there are still a few elements missing, such as your hook.
Step 3: Write a hook.
You can have the finest elevator speech ever, but without a hook, it’s not going to do you any good. As the term implies, a hook is something that catches the listener’s attention and draws them in.
There are a lot of different ways you can do this, such as:
- Starting with an open-ended question
- Using a shocking statistic
- Telling a personal story
- Making a bold statement
- Asking for help
- Mentioning something you notice about the person you’re speaking to
For our retirement planning specialist, a good hook might be:
“How much tax are you paying on your retirement savings?”
This is a great question to ask because most people don’t know the answer. It shows that you’re an expert on the subject, and it piques the listener’s curiosity.
Step 4: Edit your draft and cut out the fluff.
Now that you have a hook, it’s time to go back and edit your draft. Remember, you only have a few seconds to make an impression, so every word counts. This is where you’ll need to be ruthless with your editing. If something doesn’t contribute to your message, cut it out.
There’s no magic formula here – the usual editing rules apply:
- Get rid of the financial jargon.
- Replace long words with shorter ones.
- Replace complex words with simpler ones.
- Use active voice instead of passive voice.
- Eliminate unnecessary words.
Step 5: Make it sound conversational.
When you’ve finished editing, your speech should sound natural and conversational. This can be a challenge because you want to sound professional without sounding like you’re giving a sales pitch. A good way to strike the right balance is to imagine that you’re talking to a friend. This will help you sound more relaxed and approachable.
Here’s how we can apply that to our example above:
“How much are you paying right now in taxes on your retirement savings? If you’re like most people, it’s probably more than you think. I can help you keep more of your money by minimizing taxes, estate costs, and maximizing investment returns. I’m not going to offer you any products right now, because my focus is on getting to know you and understanding your retirement dreams. Only then will we reverse-engineer the plan to get you there.”
Step 6: End with a call to action.
The last step is to include a call to action. Your elevator should end with a specific next step that you want the listener to take. Better yet, end with something related to the pain point or problem that you mentioned in your pitch.
For our retirement planning specialist, a good call to action might be:
“If you want to have more money for retirement instead of giving it to the government in taxes, give me a call. I offer a complimentary consultation to see if we’re a good fit to work together.”
Step 7: Practice.
The only way to get comfortable delivering your elevator speech is to practice it. A lot. The good news is that the more you do it, the easier it will become. So put yourself in as many situations as possible where you can practice your pitch.
Start by thinking of all the people you come into contact with on a daily basis – friends, family, co-workers, etc. Then, try to work your pitch into conversations with them. You can also practice in front of a mirror, or even record yourself on your phone and play it back.
The key is to keep practicing until it feels natural. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes – that’s how you learn and get better.
An elevator speech is a crucial tool for any financial advisor. It’s a great way to introduce yourself and your practice, and it can help you attract new clients. Writing and delivering a great elevator speech takes practice, but it’s well worth the effort.
Need help positioning yourself in front of your target market? As your financial advisor marketing consultant, we can help you craft the right brand, expand your online presence, and set your business up for success. Contact us today.