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Crafting an Elevator Speech

Jan Graybill, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, MSFS, CEPA® | May 10, 2021

An elevator speech is a quick synopsis of your background and experience. The reason it’s called an elevator pitch is that it should be short enough to present during a brief elevator ride. This speech is all about you: who you are, what you do, and what you want to do (if you are job hunting).  Your elevator pitch is a way to share your expertise and credentials quickly and effectively with people who do not know you.

An elevator speech is also your opportunity to set yourself apart from the rest of the competition in your industry.  In this post, I will share some thoughts about my elevator speech.  

The elevator speech does not have to be a memorized script.  The best ones are conversational in nature and leave someone wanting to ask more questions about what you do.  The responses to which can be learned by scheduling a meeting.

There are 3 key elements I consider when delivering my elevator speech.  

1.) Understanding my target market and their perception of financial advisors.  

2.) Knowing my value-add to my target market.  

3.) Knowing my competition’s value-added to my target market. 

For example, I realize the public already has some strong opinions about Financial Advisors.  Those opinions whether true or false must be acknowledged.  They are most often the result of firsthand experience and/or opinions shared by family and friends.  Unfortunately, these exchanges have often been negative experiences.  For better or worse, many financial advisors in our industry continue to represent a “product-driven” as opposed to a “process-driven” approach to achieving personal financial goals.

My elevator speech is customized to each person I meet.  But in general, it will contain one or more of the following concepts:  

“My clients want to know what they will need to live their entire financial lives after a paycheck stops.  They want the income to be repeatable and consistent with access to additional capital when they need it.  They want a planning-driven relationship, not a product-driven relationship. My advice is my value-add and my approach is goals-based and planning-driven as opposed to performance-based and market-driven.  We help business owners exit on their terms as opposed to someone else’s terms.”

No matter your chosen career, you will be called upon to explain what you do.  Having a comfortable response will go a long way towards building relationships and opening doors to opportunities.  

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Jan Graybill is the CEO and Managing Partner of Legacy Planning. He specializes in helping business owners and professionals transition to their next stage in life via financial planning. Since starting his career in 1980, Jan has helped countless business owners and successful professionals plan for and achieve their financial goals.

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