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Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

Create a Great Elevator Speech

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Can you tell a stranger what you do within 30 seconds in a succinct and interesting way? Are you able to differentiate yourself from all of your competitors in only a few sentences? Do your website, brochures and business cards draw interest and attention? If not, you need a great elevator speech.

An elevator speech is a verbal — and sometimes written — calling card that lasts only the length of time it takes to ride an elevator to the top of an average building.

Here are five steps to successfully tell others what you do and generate interest:

  1. Label yourself in three sentences or less.
  2. Produce three benefits you deliver to your clients.
  3. Tell a story using those three benefits.
  4. Probe for needs.
  5. Close.

Here is a possible elevator speech using all five steps:

What do you do?
Label yourself… “I am a financial advisor specializing in helping my clients build and retain their retirement.” 

Produce three benefits
I do three things for my clients… 

  1. “Grow their investments so they can live comfortably during retirement.”
  2. “Protect their retirement assets from volatility.”
  3. “Make sure their retirement lasts as long as they do.”

Tell a story
“One of my recent clients came to me bleeding money fast. She was in a very speculative portfolio that lost 45 percent during the last market meltdown. We re-allocated her portfolio into a mix of investments that couldn’t lose money, yet paid a good return. She is now traveling all she wants and knows that she can’t run out of money for the rest of her life.” 

Probe for needs
“Tell me, how has your retirement account done over the past year? Has it returned at least 8 percent to 10 percent? Has it lost money?” (Research has shown if you can uncover one need, there is a 35 percent chance of booking an appointment; two needs, 56 percent; and three or more needs, you have more than a 90 percent chance.) 

Assuming that you have uncovered some needs, say something like this: “If we could help you grow your retirement, make sure that you decrease taxes during retirement and ensure that your retirement lasts as long as you do, would that be a benefit?” If they say yes, book an appointment.

For more from Kerry Johnson, see:

Selling the Kinesthetic Way

The Critical Path Method

How to Sell to Women … and Men


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