So, do you have the perfect elevator speech? Dan Norman, a sales performance expert and a keynote speaker at this year’s Senior Market Advisor Expo, believes he can set you on the right path.

The following is an excerpt from a recent conversation I had with Norman on the “elevator speech.”

When introducing yourself, do you say what you do or what you are? A lady walked up to me at a networking lunch recently and announced, “Hi, I’m Rhonda Andrews. I’m a financial planner.” I responded, “Whoa, so sorry – guess you need to make a cardboard sign and find a street corner!” (Okay, I thought that but didn’t say that out loud.)

The key to an effective introduction in business is to create the perfect elevator speech. Your introduction should engage people to want to know more. There are four simple steps to creating your perfect elevator speech:

Step One:
Create an interesting introduction that makes people want to ask, “How do you do that?”
If Rhonda had said, “I help people protect and grow their savings,” I am sure, given the economy, I would have asked her, “How do you do that?”

Step Two:
Rhonda now needs to explain how she does that in a way that then has folks asking, “Why are you qualified to do that?” Her response could be, “I do that by teaching people the practices of those who have not had a decline in their savings.” I would certainly then ask, “And why are you are qualified to teach those practices?”

Step Three:
Now Rhonda can finally say what she is and establish her value. “I am a certified financial planner with, Really Big Investments, LLC!”

Step Four:
Stay in touch. Rhonda now gives out her card and asks for one of their cards and says, “What do you do?”

She has now explained what she does, established herself as a valuable resource and an expert. More importantly she has added someone to her circle of “connections.” Those connections will prove to be a much better source of growing her business than a cardboard sign.

[To learn more about perfecting your "elevator speech" join the workshop on that topic at this year's Senior Market Advisor Expo.]