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Advisers warned against 'elevator pitch'

Financial advisers should avoid using elevator pitches in social situations when asked what they do for a living, says a US-based communications expert.

Commenting on how advisers should tell people what they do, i-Impact Group founder and president Claudio Pannunzio said that at social gatherings, advisers should refrain from addressing the question ‘what do you do?’ with a “canned commercial”.

“Its ready-made nature does not help the adviser make a good first impression and establish a bond with the other person,” Mr Pannunzio said.

“Regardless of how well articulate, grammatically impeccable and smooth flowing an elevator pitch is, people can easily sense that you are reciting a non-spontaneous answer,” he said.

Mr Pannunzio recommends that when an adviser is asked what they do for a living that they take it as an opportunity to lead the conversation and create a response that encourages the other person to ask ‘how do you do that?’.

To effectively engage a prospect’s attention, an adviser must be able to persuade them that they are capable of solving their problems.

If your positioning statement is effective, that individual will likely feel compelled to respond by posing a few specific questions about problems and issues you may be able to address,” Mr Pannunzio said.

“When that happens, listen actively to fully understand the nature of her/his problems and then offer your best insights and guidance.

“This will help position you as a trusted expert source, pique the attention of the audience and prompt them to continue the conversation,” he said.

“People will be attracted to you if you take the time to conscientiously listen to them to gather good intelligence about what they worry and care about. Your attention rather than your elevator speech will create for them a memorable moment,” Mr Pannunzio said.