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How to Create a Valuable Elevator Pitch as a Financial Advisor

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Financial advisors teaming up to work on their elevator pitches for clients.

Opportunities to connect with new clients can arise at any moment and when they do, it’s to your advantage to be prepared. Having a well-crafted elevator pitch ready to go can help you make a great first impression on a prospective client and grab their attention so they’re interested in learning more. Knowing how to create an effective financial advisor elevator pitch is an essential skill for growing your business.

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What Is a Financial Advisor Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch is a short, but sweet introduction to your business and what you do as an advisor. It’s called an elevator pitch because it’s meant to last the length of an elevator ride.

A good elevator pitch is designed to spark interest so that the person hearing it is encouraged to learn more. The goal is to first get prospects talking about the kinds of financial issues they need help with, then encourage them to take the next step to connect and schedule a call or meeting with you. Once you’ve got them in the door (or on the phone) that’s your opportunity to offer a deeper dive into what you do as an advisor and most importantly, how you can help them.

Elevator pitches are not exclusive or unique to the financial services industry, as plenty of business professionals use them. What sets financial advisor elevator pitches apart lies in the message that you’re sending.

Elements of a Good Financial Advisor Elevator Pitch

There’s a marked difference between a good elevator pitch and a bad one. Good pitches prompt prospective clients to act; bad ones simply turn them off.

So, what are the hallmarks of a solid elevator pitch? A good pitch checks off these boxes:

  • They’re short and simple. An elevator pitch isn’t meant to drag on; instead, you should be able to deliver your core message in two minutes or less. Remember, you’re trying to give prospects just a glimpse of what your business is about in order to pique their curiosity. And you should be able to do that using simple, friendly language, not bogging your pitch down with jargon or technical terms.
  • They’re not about you. The purpose of an elevator pitch is to inform, not sell. More specifically, the goal is to speak to the needs or pain points of the person who’s hearing the pitch. If you’re saying ‘I’ more than ‘you’ in your pitch, that’s a sign that your message has gotten muddled. Keep in mind that if you work with different types of clients, you might need to develop multiple pitches that align with their individual needs.
  • They’re relatable. Prospective clients want to work with an advisor who’s knowledgeable and experienced, but they’re also looking for someone who understands their unique needs and situations. Making your pitch relatable and human by sharing a story or anecdote could help you make an initial connection that could potentially lead to a longer-term working relationship.
  • They’re memorable. You never get a second chance to make a first impression and you could easily be forgotten if your elevator pitch isn’t ‘sticky’. In marketing ‘stickiness’ refers to how likely people are to remember your message and come back to it. Developing a simple, but memorable catchphrase or tagline that you weave into your pitch can help to up its stickiness factor so that you’re more likely to stay at the top of prospects’ minds.
  • They’re actionable. The best elevator pitch is worthless if it doesn’t wrap up with a call to action on what prospects can do next if they’re interested in following up with you. Your CTA doesn’t have to be complicated—a simple, “Give me a call if you’d like to chat” can be enough to get the ball rolling. And of course, you’ll want to remember to give them your business card, so they know how to get in touch with you.

How to Write a Financial Advisor Elevator Pitch

A financial advisor working with a client after gaining their business with a successful elevator pitch.

Ready to draft a winning pitch that gets attention? It can take some practice to do well, and you may need to experiment with different approaches to find the one that works best.

These four common tips can help you craft an elevator pitch that captivates the attention of prospects:

Get the structure down. Since you only have a short amount of time to deliver your pitch, it’s crucial that you only include the most relevant messaging. A good basic structure for an elevator pitch should include:

  • A short description of who you are and what you do.
  • A rundown of one to three ways you benefit your clients.
  • Something relatable, such as a personal story or even a joke.
  • The ask, which is where you pose a question about the prospect’s needs.
  • The closing and call to action.

Remember, the entire pitch should take two minutes at most. You might want to use a half-and-half format, where you spend the first minute laying out who you are and what you do, then shift the focus to the prospect’s needs for the remaining minute.

Develop a strong hook. Content marketers understand the importance of a strong hook. This is what gets prospects to stop in their tracks and listen to the rest of your pitch.

There are different ways to approach your hook. For example, you might:

  • Ask a question that’s designed to get them thinking about their financial situation.
  • Share an eye-opening statistic.
  • Tell a story or a joke.
  • Offer to tell them a ‘secret’ about financial planning.
  • Make an observation about the person you’re speaking to.
  • Address a specific need that you believe they might have.

Hooks that trigger an emotional response can be effective openers, as people are more likely to pay attention to something when they feel that it speaks to them personally. Which emotion you focus on can depend largely on the niche that you serve and what they need help with most financially.

Write a first draft. Your first draft represents your initial attempt at writing an elevator pitch. When writing this draft, it’s fine to let the words flow. Once you’ve gotten the first draft down, it’s time to revise and fine-tune it to get a finished product that you’re happy with.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you edit your elevator pitch’s first draft.

  • Get rid of any unnecessary technical terms or jargon and simplify phrases as much as possible.
  • Check the tone to make sure it’s friendly and conversational so that it sounds like you’re talking to prospects rather than at them.
  • Filter out anything that doesn’t speak to your core message or sounds too much like a hard sales pitch.
  • Keep the focus on the prospect and their needs, not your accomplishments or achievements.
  • Make sure there’s a clear call to action so that prospects know exactly what they need to do next to follow up with you.

You may need to write multiple drafts of your elevator pitch to get it just right. The better you know your clients and understand their needs, the easier this stage of the process may be.

Practice. Practice makes perfect and your elevator pitch shouldn’t feel forced in its delivery. You don’t want to sound like you’re reading verbatim from a script; instead, it should sound like you’re talking to a friend.

You can practice your pitch alone or with the help of others who are willing to listen and critique it. A senior advisor who acts as your mentor, for instance, could be a great person to practice your pitch on as they likely have extensive experience with elevator pitches themselves.

Taking an audio or video recording of yourself while practicing can make it easier to monitor what’s working and what’s not. Studying your facial expressions or hand movements, the tone and pitch of your voice and the speed at which you deliver the pitch can offer insight into how to make it feel more natural and relaxed, versus salesy or rushed.

Bottom Line

A financial advisor delivering on the services that she promised to clients in an elevator pitch.

A good financial advisor elevator pitch can be a secret weapon for gaining new clients and if you don’t have one yet, you may be missing out on opportunities to grow your practice. Developing an elevator pitch template that you can customize to fit different types of prospects can ensure that you’re prepared for any opportunity to chat that might come your way.

Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business

  • SmartAsset AMP (Advisor Marketing Platform) is a holistic marketing service financial advisors can use for client lead generation and automated marketing. Sign up for a free demo to explore how SmartAsset AMP can help you expand your practice’s marketing operation. Get started today.
  • The concept of stickiness can be applied to more than just your elevator pitch. You can also incorporate it into your social media marketing or email marketing efforts. For example, if you’re creating social media content or blog content, leading off with a strong hook can make your message more compelling. Learning how to write sticky content and content that’s SEO optimized could help you to grow your following and boost your visibility in online searches.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/fizkes, ©iStock.com/VioletaStoimenova, ©iStock.com/skynesher

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