How often do we miss a great opportunity because we fail to quickly and compellingly introduce who we are, what we do and the problems we solve.
An elevator pitch can be used to ensure, you make the most of each opportunity that comes your way.
When you meet someone for the first time one of the first questions most people ask is what do you do? Thinking you are helping them, you give them your job title. After all telling them what you do, might take a few minutes.
The problem is, using your job title puts you in the same basket as your competition. You become a commodity, and being a commodity is a killer, now you will struggle to differentiate what makes you, uniquely you.
A well crafted elevator pitch will help you stand out from your competition, and in todays market you really do need to be able to stand out.
This is why crafting an elevator pitch is essential. Crafting the perfect elevator pitch can make a substantial improvement across your organisation because everyone can be on the same page selling the same message
An elevator pitch is a brief speech, useful for anyone who wants to spark interest in what you or your company does. The elevator pitch should be crafted to let the audience know the problems you solve and your unique selling proposition (what makes you different from the competition).
You also need to give them an idea of what your solution to the problems are and who are your ideal clients. Let them know of any awards or achievements your organisation has achieved and then engage them with a question to identify if they may have the problem that you can solve.
Before starting on your elevator pitch think of the purpose of your elevator pitch. What do you want it to achieve? Are you trying to promote a new product or service? Or are you positioning yourself as the expert in a niche. Decide on the purpose on your elevator pitch.
Start your elevator pitch by identifying the clients problems. You may also start your elevator pitch by educating potential clients on problems they didn't know existed. When I was financial planning I highlighted the problems people faced by using an ''aligned'' financial planner e.g. (a financial planner employed by the banks where the bank recommended their own products). If the bank was paying the planners wage, and the banks made more money from recommending their own products and rewarding their planners for it then it stood to reason that the advice could be skewed to what was best for the bank and planer rather than what was best for the client. So in this case the problem was getting advice that was in their own best interest.
Your elevator pitch needs to quickly and succinctly communicate your unique selling proposition. What makes you unique? In my financial planning business I let people know that not only was I not aligned with any product manufactures (i.e. banks) but that I charged a flat fee for my service. I received no commissions at all for any investment products recommended. In my elevator pitch I also sold my credential as a financial planner compared to the rest of the industry. I was degree qualified compared to 80% of the industry that had diploma level qualifications. Well short of what I believe was required to offer quality advice in our industry.
In your elevator pitch you should be able to identify the types of clients that you can serve best. My elevator pitch in financial planning, I wanted to be working with clients who had a great attitude, were goal setters and understood the value of advice and were willing to pay for it. Many banks in the early years were offering free advice because the banks were taking huge fees to get into products. So it was important to make sure I was attracting clients who understood the value of unbiased advice and were willing to pay for it.
Running my own business in financial planning I didn't receive awards for the superstar salesman or anything like that. But over the years I did have some very happy clients and not a single complaint in the nearly 10 years of running my own business. So for an elevator pitch you could say something like “I have been running my own financial planning business for nearly 10 years now and in that time I have received glowing reviews from many clients and not 1 single complaint”
At the end of your elevator pitch you need to be able to get your audience to participate in the conversation. Find out if they have the problem that you highlighted at the very start. Eg. Are you currently working with an planner not linked to a bank that is not paid commissions and is putting your interest first?
If you have more time, then the 30 second elevator pitch you can just keep the conversation going. Ask them about their family, their work and find out what is important to them. Having a conversation and being genuinely interested in who you are talking to will go a long way to forming a relationship. During the conversation you may find out exactly what is driving them and see if they could be a good fit for your business. If you find that they are not your ideal client now that you have formed a good relationship find out if they know anyone who might be your ideal client. But with this again there is a right way and a wrong way.
Wrong way: Question, “So client name, do you know anyone who might be interested in (having the problem solved you mentioned earlier) working with an independent advisor who can provide holistic advice.” Answer, sorry I don’t know anyone.
Right Way Question, “So client name, who do you know that would be interested in working with an independent advisor who can provide holistic advice” Answer; this will get them thinking, they might still come back with a no, but you need to get them thinking before they answer on autopilot.
A great elevator pitch will not come together overnight, it will be something that you may work on overtime for a number of weeks before you get it right. It needs to flow like a normal conversation and it shouldn't sound rehearsed. You also want to keep it short as you don’t have long to create a great impression.
Practice, practice, practice and then try it with your fellow Success team members. Get feedback and keep improving it but most of all submit it to memory so that it is natural. You can download our elevator pitch checklist and craft the perfect to start winning more clients.
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