When a prospects asks “what do you do?,” there is nothing you can say, no words that will come out of your mouth, that will be so interesting, so titillating that it will stimulate curiosity to learn more about your professional services. The financial advisor elevator speech can have the opposite effect; it activates a sales alert, which is highly sensitive with today’s affluent. This type of response hurts the sales process.
What should you do? First and foremost understand the nature of the question in affluent social circles and the real opportunity it affords. In most instances, this is what is often referred to as a non-sequitur or a throw away question. It’s unlikely there is any real interest in your career; it’s merely a conversation starter.
The real opportunity is to personally connect with an affluent prospect. The objective is to make certain the spotlight is on the person who initially asked you the question, not explaining what you do, how you do it, and how professional you are at doing so. Because, even though you were asked a question about yourself, the less you talk about yourself, the more quickly you build rapport. So what’s the secret?
The following are a few rules-of-thumb elite advisors follow in both crafting and delivering their value propositions.
- Less is more—less verbiage, less big words, and less industry jargon.
- Delivery should be conversational. Elite advisors are not trying to impress; it’s a more humble, albeit, clear response.
- They are genuine and sincere; they are clear about the service they provide and state so clearly.
- It passes the spouse test. Most spouses of elite advisors can easily articulate the value proposition in social circles.
- They redirect focus to the potential affluent prospect. Elite advisors are genuinely interested in the other person and after responding to the question, are able to conversationally ask a question that gets this person talking about him or herself.
Here’s an example (the scenario is a fundraiser for the Make-a-Wish Foundation):
Potential Prospect – So what do you do for a living?
Financial Advisor – I oversee the finances for a handful of families in the area, PAUSE – So how did you get involved in this fundraiser?
Potential Prospect – A few years ago a boy on my son’s soccer team was diagnosed with XYZ. It was shocking to everyone that a 10-year-old kid had to battle XYZ. We raised money from all the parents on the team and were able to send this child and his parents to a Yankees game – which was his life-long dream. I’ve been hooked ever since.
The quicker you can get away from talking business in the first interaction, the more likely it is that you’ll get new business in the long run.
Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Centure Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients. www.oechsli.com