If I have heard numerous elevator talks
in my thirty years of coaching. Some are quite good. They can be
attention grabbing and compelling.
I have worked with hundreds of the top
advisors (relationship-oriented) in the financial services business.
No one has ever told me that an elevator talk was a key part of their
success. There is a reason for this. An elevator talk, no matter how
good it is, is usually not an effective way to introduce yourself.
The idea that you can come up with an
attention grabbing, compelling way to describe what you do that will
make people want to talk to is a dream of the analytical mind. If your
prospects were all very analytical, the elevator talk could work to
get some attention and start a conversation. But then you are only
attracting super analytical people who donít usually make the best
clients because they need endless information before they can make a
decision. In other words, the kind of client most advisors are looking
for isnít going to respond to an elevator talk.
So how do you introduce yourself in a
way that will get the greatest degree of positive response from the
right people? The answer is simple, not complicated or brilliantly
crafted. You take an interest in the prospect. You show them
that you care about them. You have all heard the often quoted
phrase: "People donít care how much you know until they know how
much you care."
Or how about this quote from Dale
Carnegie: "You can make more friends in two months by becoming
interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get
other people interested in you." What do you think Dale would say
about the promise of an elevator talk?
Assuming you are a relationship-builder
in your approach to people, showing a sincere interest in people is
really the only approach that is going to work with any consistency.
What most people are going to respond positively to every time is a
warm smile, a friendly presence, and most important, someone who takes
an interest in them by asking them a question or two.
What do you ask them? Keep it
simple. Extend your hand and say: "We havenít met. My name is Sid
Walker. I work on the 5th floor." He or she will give you at least
their name and probably more. Your next question will depend on the
information they gave you. If they didnít tell you what kind of work
they do, ask them. "What kind of work do you do?"
Then, one of my favorites is: "I may
know someone who is looking for a _______, do you have a card or a
website I can pass along? This will usually give you enough contact
information to call them or send them something later.
If I have any verbal purists in the
audience, I didnít say I know someone who is looking, I said I
may know someone. Often I already have someone in mind I could
refer them to as soon as I know what they do, but that is not required
with this approach.
Some of you may like this language
better: "From time to time I run across people looking for a _______.
Do you have a card or a website I can pass along?"
The main thing is to take an interest in
other people. Find out who they are and what they do by asking them
questions. Then see if you can help them in some way. If the people
you introduce yourself to feel you are sincere in your desire to get
to know them and see if you can help them, they are most likely going
to be willing to listen to you when you contact them to talk about
what you do.
Here is a challenge that will make you
money. See how many people you can introduce yourself to in the next
30 days. Thatís right, every time you see someone you donít know who
looks like a potential client, introduce yourself and see I you can
get enough information to contact them at a later date.
Step out of your comfort zone. Introduce
yourself to more people. Make Dale proud! You and your bank account
will be pleasantly surprised!
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If you decide to apply for a relationship with
mention my name and someone will get back to you right away. They get
a ton of inquiries every day.
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