Pssst. I have to share a secret with you. But you can’t tell anyone. Ready? What we’re going to discuss is not really an elevator speech. Or an elevator pitch! Because if we were to have that discussion, it may encourage you (maybe even force you) to pitch your products and services. And that’s not what an elevator speech should be about. Got it? What we’re really talking about is a positioning statement — as in a way of positioning you to generate attraction, communication, confidence, connections, focus, marketing, and ultimately more and better relationships. Sound good? But again, our little secret.
Every agent, advisor, planner, or sales rep that actively networks is familiar with the ever popular ‘elevator speech’.
(Related: 5 Business Networking ‘Musts’)
This is typically the ’30-second’ introduction used to explain what you do so others understand how to help. A good ‘elevator speech’ should be light fare (not too much jargon or industry stuff), kind of fun (perhaps depending on your market), and memorable.
Now the confusion. Let’s go from Elevator Speech to Positioning Statement to what I call The PEEC Statement. PEEC stands for Profession, Expertise, Environments, and Call to Action.
This very model has helped countless advisors and sales reps land a client, make a connection, or get more information. It’s absolutely one of my favorite approaches that I teach advisors.
Here’s how it works.
This is a broad way of describing your role, it’s not necessarily your title but it could be. For example, if you’re a financial advisor, focus on who you help and what you help them with — just keep it pretty general. If you want to make it punchy, funny, and poignant, than do so as long as it’s appropriate and reflects your personality. “You know who Bernie Madoff is, right? Well, I’m one of the good guys! I’m a financial advisor focused on helping businesses with their financial management.” The more you can differentiate yourself from your counterparts – the better. Just don’t get too cutesy or cliché. I like the direct approach and most people do too.
This speaks to the areas within your business where you have the most knowledge. As an advisor, your expertise may be in the areas of long-term care, annuities, and financial planning. I just wouldn’t rattle off more than three areas because it may come across that you’re trying to be all things to all people. Just talk about your top three favorites or where you think you have the most expertise. Of course, these may not be your only areas of expertise but you wouldn’t share everything on the first date, would you?
This is your target market — whom you serve best and therefore wish to serve most. “I do most of my work in the physician marketplace.” A typical concern of advisors is that they’re pigeon holing themselves or limiting other opportunities but in my experience the exact opposite is true. People in other fields will be attracted to you because you’re a specialist (with physicians or whomever) and therefore must be very good. “It seems you work with mostly physicians but as an attorney I may have some of the same financial challenges and concerns. Do you think you could help me?” Ball is in your court.
4. Call to Action
Your direct request of the person you’re speaking with at that networking event, cocktail party, chamber, or association meeting. Be specific about what you’re looking to accomplish and who you’re looking to meet or be introduced to. The more specific you are (names, titles, companies), the more successful you will be. “I’m looking to meet or be introduced to a physician that’s part of the Northeast Health Care Network. If you could provide some advice, insight or recommendations on how I can make that connection, I’d appreciate it!” A word of caution – don’t ask for an opportunity to sit down with them for 20 minutes to show them the value of what you do. And no fact finders! Remember, this is NOT a sales pitch.
Think Positioning Statement. And also think networking. That means that you’re connecting with others and exploring ways you can help one another.
Before you get too excited, there are 8 rules that need to be considered that help put The PEEC Statement in the proper perspective.