No matter how strategic and proactive you are about marketing and sales, sometimes unexpected, profitable opportunities will present themselves. Advisors need to be ready to act fast when these opportunities arise.
So the question becomes, how can financial advisors make the most of their elevator pitch in front of an unexpected prospect?
The traditional approach is not the most effective
For years advisors have been told that an effective elevator pitch describes what you do and highlights how you are different than your competitors. And a well-prepared advisor would have plenty of examples to back up what they are saying.
It’s a good theoretical approach, but, the success rate of this method is fairly low. It works maybe three or four times out of ten.
Rethink the goal of the pitch
Since you’re not likely to make a sale in a 30-second sales pitch, don’t make that your objective when talking to a prospect. Instead, focus on what you can reasonably and effectively accomplish every time you make a pitch—obtaining a commitment to take the next step. That step may be an actual face-to-face meeting, or it may be a phone call.
When you make advancing to the next step your goal, there’s no need to try to explain everything you do in thirty seconds. In fact, you shouldn’t—you probably don’t know enough about the needs of the person you’re talking to at this point. This is why pitches that are too salesy fail at this stage. They aren’t targeted to the prospect and miss their mark.
How to craft a great hook
The most important thing about an elevator pitch is that it must be memorable. When you have a limited window to deliver your message, it needs to be simple and short.
Start with a hook. The best way to do this is to leverage the natural curiosity of the person you are talking to and generate questions the prospect will want to be answered.
Keep your description of what you do open-ended—saying you help people reduce or eliminate financial risk, for instance. Something that will leave them thinking, “That sounds good, but how does she achieve that? I want to know more.”
How to expose their pain points
Although you may not yet fully understand the particular pain points that concern the person you are talking to, it’s still important to create a connection by focusing on risk. In the case of a pitch geared towards getting a meeting, this can be as simple as making sure to communicate the pain point that your business is designed to solve.
For instance, in your pitch you may touch on financial uncertainty, or reducing worry about the future, or keeping families safe. Touching on needs or risk is the best way to engage the listener’s emotions—and emotion drives people to take action.
The best way to close
Since the whole point of this type of thirty-second pitch is to get a meeting, make sure to ask for one. Avoid weak or vague suggestions like “let’s talk,” or “let’s get together,” or “call me”. Instead, ask for clear, immediate, and definite action—something like, “I’m free tomorrow at 2, why don’t I call you?”
And that’s it. Resist the urge to keep talking after you’ve asked for the meeting. Even if you’re excited about the potential opportunity, don’t get into talking about solutions. Have confidence in your decision to ask for a meeting and, if you get one, consider that a win.
The last word
When you’ve only got thirty seconds to take a step towards attracting new business, follow these steps to deliver a winning pitch. Open with a hook, highlight the pain, and include a definite call to action. If you keep your focus on getting a call or a meeting and then following the sales process from there, you’ll find that you’ll turn more chance encounters with prospects into sales.