The Motivator: What Are Your Prospects Seeking?
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As fiduciary financial advisors, the last thing you associate yourself with is sales. But sales is a big part of your business. Instead of selling an investment product, you’re selling your expertise, guidance and advice. Illustrating value in an intangible is a very hard thing, yet that is exactly what you are selling every day.
Most potential clients are savvy. They’re aware that no matter what you say, you’re trying to sell them on your expertise, firm and philosophy. However, if you learn to approach a prospect situation with a natural curiosity and work to understand their motivations, emotions and priorities, the paradigm shifts from you trying to convince them of your value to you solving their most pressing issues.
It’s your job to figure out why someone wants to engage in your services.
Potential emotional motivators
Here are some of the potential emotional reasons why a client might choose you:
Obtaining peace of mind for the future
Your clients care about leaving a legacy and ensuring their families are taken care of after they pass away. By helping them achieve peace of mind regarding their future, you’ll be speaking to their most pressing needs.
Feeling safe, sound, and secure
Implementing, complying with and monitoring a sound and steady plan makes your client feel in control and positive about their sense of well-being. Helping your client feel in control is tapping into one of their primary motivators – safety.
A sense of accomplishment and longstanding success:
By helping your clients reach the goals that are most important to them, it adds a further feeling of accomplishment to their successes. This will speak to their desire for meaning, something that eclipses any financial or socioeconomic standing.
A commitment to social responsibility
Discovering your clients’ values offers integral insights, such as if they have a strong social conscience. You can align your services with those goals to validate their value system.
Asking and not telling
The above emotional factors are critical in figuring out what your potential clients want. With that knowledge, it becomes increasingly more straightforward to convert leads.
But how do you obtain that information? It won’t happen by talking over your client or talking about features.
Instead, ask these questions:
- Why are they coming to you now? What problem are they trying to solve?
- What is their most important priority?
- Where do they stand on their overall legacy and impact on their family and/or community?
Don’t be vague. Dig in and be curious. Get into the specifics with these motivating factors.
Based on the answers to those questions, explain your services and expertise based upon a framework dictated by their “why.”
Emotions are the number one motivator
Humans are emotional creatures.
Think about something like stress-eating. You know that eating a 12-inch hoagie is terrible for you, but during the moment, it feels good and soothes your anxieties.
It’s the same reason many firms appeal to emotions in their marketing. You see a strong sentimental lean in financial advertisements that highlight the “why” for the target demographic.
Understand your target market
I’ve provided a strategy for once you get your prospect in the door. But how do you even grab their attention in the first place? The short answer is through marketing practices. That’s also the long answer, because marketing is incredibly complicated and specialized, requiring a laser-focus and scientific understanding of your target niche.
Define a profile of your ideal client. This doesn’t just mean naming a persona. This means understanding them from a 4-D perspective:
Grade yourself on how well you truly understand each of those areas and then dig deeper in the areas you have knowledge gaps. Ask questions, look for patterns, and incorporate those answers into your marketing. This will shape your marketing so it speaks directly to the needs and wants of a unique demographic. You’re better off streamlining a specific approach instead of spreading your strategy thin.
Learn and understand your potential clients’ motivator
Your success is predicated upon your in-depth grasp of what motivates your client.
If you focus too much on what you offer and not what motivated someone to come to you in the first place, then it will just be a lost opportunity. Potential clients don’t care about service features on their own – they want to know how what you provide fits into their way of life.
To better connect with your potential clients, apply these techniques and philosophies that will help you understand their motivations, emotions and their “why.”
Gretchen Halpin is the co-founder of Beyond AUM, which provides marketing, growth and technology solutions to financial advisors to drive business success. Over the course of her 25-year-career, Gretchen has founded more than five businesses, in addition to serving as the chief strategy officer for one of the financial services industry's leading wealth management firms. She has been featured in Financial Advisor Magazine and Forbes for her insights and has served as a speaker at the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors conference and Financial Advisor Magazine’s Invest in Women conference.