Do you tell your story with confidence and clarity?
By Rob Brown, Supernova Consultant
Imagine that it’s the big day….You’re going to be interviewed on a live television program that just about everyone in your target markets watch. You’ll get a chance to talk about yourself and your practice. You’ve been rehearsing your winning smile in the mirror for weeks. The suit you’ve chosen to wear is perfect.
As the interview begins, you’re given a flattering introduction that details your background. It’s as if you wrote the words yourself. And now, cameras rolling, the reporter asks his first question,
“Mr. Advisor, I’m impressed by your credentials. But sometimes it’s difficult to understand the differing roles of financial advisors. Please take a minute to tell the audience what you do.”
In the split second following the question, you think to yourself,
“Wow, that’s an easy question. I can really impress this audience filled with my potential clients. The phone will be ringing off the hook when I get back to the office.”
Unfortunately, the next thing you remember is your face turning blood red. You hope the makeup they made you wear for the interview will hide your embarrassment. You blew it…
The self-introduction (commonly referred to as an elevator pitch or Unique Value Proposition) you told yourself you’d “get to someday” wasn’t on the tip of your tongue. You stammered through a series of buzzwords and industry jargon that would have been appropriate for about a zillion advisors.
Do you get the picture?
Sure, this description and scenario are overly-dramatic. Yet, over the years I’ve had countless advisors tell me stories of missed opportunities. Someone (Mr. or Ms. Big) asked them what they did for a living and they were unable to answer the question comfortably.
I hope I’m not talking about you, but if I am, please don’t feel alone…you’re not! I notice this same routine over and over again both inside and outside our industry — in personal introductions, speeches, seminars, interviews…
Why is a self-introduction so tough?
After all, all it really takes is a little preparation and practice. Still, many advisors continually place this “chore” at the bottom of their “to do” lists, only to be reminded of its importance when they invariably miss an opportunity to put it to good use.
Now, don’t get me wrong, blowing a self-introduction is rarely fatal. It may ruin a first-impression, but with time and the right audience it can be overcome. But, why waste the time or take a chance?
So, you might be thinking, how does this specifically apply to me as a financial advisor? It’s simple: When someone asks you to describe your vision or, more commonly, what you do, they might be a potential client of your practice or someone who could make referrals. You should be able to respond with compelling clarity and without hesitation. They should want to know more.
Your response doesn’t need to be slick or filled with catchy sales language, but it should cause the inquisitor to pause and think about how they might interact with you on a business level. They should come away with a basic understanding of your unique value – who you are, what you do and why your clients do business with you.
Of course, they won’t have a comprehensive understanding of your practice, but they’ll probably say or think, “Wow, that’s different, I’d like to learn more.” Or, “My advisor doesn’t do that, why not?” This sets the stage for your next step in developing a future client relationship.