It’s very important to communicate your expertise and, more powerfully, get another person involved in this conversation with you—especially when you’re cultivating the affluent and centers of influence. You can do it with an elevator speech.

Imagine you’re at a posh hotel crawling with the rich and famous. Now, imagine you’re with someone in an elevator going from the first to the third floor, and you had to tell him or her about yourself as a professional. What would you say?

Let’s assume it takes 15 to 20 seconds to travel the two floors. Most financial advisors would have a lot of trouble condensing what they want to say about themselves in such a small timeframe. Give them 20 minutes, and maybe some of them can do it. But 20 seconds is a serous problem for many of them.

It’s understandable that advisors would feel 20 seconds isn’t enough time to sell themselves. However, in most real-life situations, that’s about all the time they’re going to have to get prospects or centers of influence interested in talking to them further.

Elevator speeches are short and pithy pitches that make the best use of the little time that you do have to introduce yourself. The best of these speeches highlight three key facts:

•    Who you are (your name and maybe your firm’s name).
•    What you do (one sentence at most).
•    Who your clients are (one sentence at most).

That’s it. If your elevator speech is on target, the person you’re speaking with is likely to ask you a question or two or three. Here is where you get the opportunity to provide more details. Now you’re having a conversation where the other person is interested and in the process of becoming highly involved.

Here’s my elevator speech:

Hello, my name is Russ Prince. I consult with the ultra-wealthy and professionals to strategically expand their networks and maximize the value of their relationships.

Very often after providing my elevator speech, here are some of the questions I might get:

•    What kind of professionals do I work with?
•    How do I define ultra-wealthy?
•    How do I help these people expand their networks?
•    What do I mean by “helping them maximize their relationship”?

All these questions provide me the opportunity, if I so choose, to extend and deepen the discussion, which increases the chance of generating new business. The very same approach can work for you.