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People don’t like to be sold. We instinctively react negatively to salesy advisors, even when it’s unintentionally salesy!

You know what I mean by “salesy” — the things sellers do that are pushy and manipulative. Clients are more wary than ever of advisors who put them through a process as opposed to developing a real relationship.

The problem is, for any consultant who needs to sell, there’s a strong risk of being unintentionally salesy.

Let’s consider learning about prospective clients in a discovery meeting. You need to know their situation and how you can help them. You also want to know what time and effort you should invest in the relationship. Will they be a good client? That’s why a lot of discovery meetings start with fact-finding questions from the advisor.

However, fact-finding is advisor centric. Every question you ask to understand their situation, goals, and assets is a question devoted to your need for information, not the client’s needs. You’re being unintentionally salesy!

And if your client meetings look, sound, or feel a little similar a sales call, you’re de-credentialing yourself and creating unnecessary barriers to developing trust.