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Ditch the elevator pitch if you want better results

As published in No More Practice’s Reality Check on 5 March 2014.

Would you like to hear my elevator pitch?

I can hear most of you politely saying “not really”.  The majority of elevator pitches (or barbecue stories) sound fancy. However, they don’t work.

My advice – ditch the elevator pitch now.

I have been working with advisers for years and one of the most common complaints is the lack of referrals they receive from their happy, loyal clients, or from family, friends and colleagues.

One possible explanation is that these people don’t fully understand what you do and therefore struggle to explain it in a compelling and enticing way. If you don’t believe me, go out and ask your family and friends to explain what you do. Some of the responses I hear are priceless and so far off the mark.

Why is this a problem?

You are potentially missing a huge opportunity for others to ‘spread your disease’ and bring more dream clients to your door. Or, you may be scaring off prospective clients before you even leave the barbecue.

You know the saying “you only get one chance to make a lasting first impression”? Don’t ruin yours with a lousy elevator pitch.

People don’t want a financial adviser

What prospective clients want are the results and outcomes they receive from working with you as their financial adviser. Most elevator pitches ignore this critical component of prospects’ decision making and only focus on themselves and what they do.

Ditch the elevator pitch and replace it with this

Spend your time mastering a stellar response to the question “what do you do?” Here is an easy to remember (and easy to modify) three-part solution.

Start with the word ‘typically’ (it acts as an anchor to remind your brain what comes next). Then fill in the gaps.

  1. I work with… (add specific details about your ideal client). The more specific, the more powerful.
  1. The challenges they face are… (briefly outline the key challenges, problems or issues they face and how you address them).
  1. The results we get are… (capture the really compelling results your clients get).

For example:

“Typically, I work with businesses who provide financial advice. They are great at converting prospects into clients, however their biggest challenge is getting in front of the type of clients they want to work with. Working together, I provide the systems, tools and ‘know how’ to prepare their business, and get them excited about catching and keeping as many clients as they need, to get results that are meaningful to them”.

This is more powerful and gets better results than any elevator pitch I have ever heard.

PS –  this is great tool to use in conversation. It can also be used as written content for your marketing material, both on and offline.


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