I’ve met hundreds of advisors. None came across as incompetent. But few projected warmth.
Much of the advice you provide is geared towards planning for retirement and insuring your clients are able to maintain their quality of life after they stop working. Here’s what you may not know: There’s compelling data showing a link between early retirement and death.
I’ve asked countless advisors if they ever had the experience of saying something they thought was really interesting, and having the other person pause, reflect and respond, “Tell me more about that?” This article is about the only two who said “yes.”
Recently, I’ve been coaching a few advisors who have seen my presentations and wanted help with theirs. I shared with them my flawed assumptions about how to engage an audience. Now I want to pass on what I’ve learned to you.
This isn’t another article on what’s likely to happen to the advisory industry. I don’t have a clue.
Often, prospects and clients don’t want your advice. Here’s why.
Harvard University has been the source of many great ideas. A 2012 study revealed the key concept that I have used to help advisors growth their practices. Its findings were expanded by just-released research from the university.
I’ve identified two questions that have universal appeal. My experience may help you when you meet with prospects.
I decided to determine how I was doing with the many advisors I work with in the course of my coach sessions. This process led me to a breakthrough exercise that immediately improved my emotional connections with others. It is something every advisor can adopt.
Here are examples of things you do or say that create barriers to sales.
Navigating the subtleties of an initial prospect meeting is an incredibly important step to landing a client. That’s why I’m so surprised when advisors make the mistake of asking the wrong questions when given the opportunity.
I recently completed an extensive speaking tour across the U.S., Canada and Australia. I presented to hundreds of advisors and met personally with many of them. Here are five takeaways from those experiences.
Here’s how I discovered something so counter-intuitive and powerful that it could be applied to all aspects of relating to others – not just in a business context.
It has been my experience that introverts have an innate advantage converting prospects, as compared to extroverts. I was curious to find out why – and what extroverts can do to overcome their disadvantage.
First impressions start with your web page. Unfortunately, many advisors are badly misled by faulty advice about web site content and design.
However you define it, full engagement with a prospect is a worthy (but elusive) goal.
Empathy is the essential skill for building trust with prospects. Yet it is rarely discussed, much less taught. But it can be learned – and I’ve developed an approach that quickly develops empathy for advisors who are willing to embrace a radical process.
But I do have an agenda! I want to convert that prospect into a client.” I hear that quite often, but it is a misguided approach. Indeed, the biggest challenge advisors face when speaking with prospects is to adopt the mental state of a blank piece of paper.
You should have no agenda. “No agenda” is difficult for many advisors to grasp. If you really have no agenda, your goal is not to convert the prospect into a client. How can that be? Let me explain.
Here’s my recommended response to the question, “How are you different?”
Before every talk, I ask participants to send me their most pressing concerns. At, or near, the top of every list is “justifying fees.” That concern will grow as technology invades every aspect of the advisory industry. But you have a secret weapon that few advisors will use effectively to respond to this challenge.
What’s the most difficult question you get asked by prospects? Most advisors say it is how to justify fees and value. The problem is that very few advisors know the right way to answer this.
I meet hundreds of advisors every year. The extremes fall into two categories: supremely self-confident and supremely reticent. Self-confident advisors are typically extroverts. Reticent ones are often introverts. Which personality type is more likely to be a successful advisor?
I don’t know how I missed this referral opportunity for so long.
Advisors should focus on establishing trust with potential clients, but what happens when all that person wants to do is talk about risk?
Despite the anxiety and cost they inflict, dentists have mastered the skills that allow them to persuade patients they will have pleasant and positive outcomes. Advisors can learn from them.
If you lapse into a lecture about the overwhelming evidence supporting passive investments, remember you might as well be showing the prospect an article about bird feeding.
While the trend is toward passive investing, it’s still common to face resistance from prospects who believe they can “beat the market,” often with the guidance of their broker. The use of “labeling” may overcome this objection.
The straw that nearly broke my holiday spirit for me was a card from my postman. It wished me a very happy holiday and best wishes for the New Year. He signed his first name.
Helping someone in ways other than reaching their financial goals is a powerful, yet seldom-used way to convert prospects to clients.
There’s a lot of information about how to engage others. My research shows much of this advice is wide of the mark. A story about how someone engaged a group of passengers whose flight was hopelessly delayed showed the power of my research and how it can be applied to interactions with your clients.
I help advisors convert prospects into clients, often restructuring the way they communicate. Here are three costly but common errors. To keep the clients you worked so hard to convert you can’t afford to make these errors.
I have plenty of time in my schedule, which permits me to take on new business, expand my writing and engage in other work-related activities. Here’s my secret, which I’m happy to share.
Persuading people to change their mind about anything is daunting. It is crucial to understand the research about what is effective.
In response to the parade of vile perpetrators of sexual misconduct, here’s a step that we can all take to help women. I’ve already taken it.
Being rejected by someone you hoped to date leaves a painful memory, just as does losing a prospect who was a good fit for planning services. Here’s the powerful lesson that avoids losses – in both situations!
Over time, I’ve come up with one strategy that has been a positive way to begin the meeting with couples. Ask this question…
Recently, I’ve noted a new trend. Some advisors are extending their services to being “life coaches” to their clients. Advisors who embrace this concept need to be acutely aware of their limitations.
You routinely engage in some practices that on the surface make sense. But you would gather more assets if you discarded them. Here are three examples.
Once I learned how to avoid cornering prospects into a “right versus wrong” choice, it became easy to persuade them to use passive management. Indeed, the approach I learned can be applied to any situation when you confront a stubborn prospect.
The perfect meeting maximizes the possibility of converting a prospect into a client. Here’s the ideal way to structure that meeting.
LinkedIn has become an effective site for communicating between advisors, prospects and centers of influence. My recent experience illustrated how advisors should respond to inquiries from a LinkedIn contact.
A coaching client recently asked me to name the most critical traits an advisor needs to convert more prospects into clients. Here was my answer.
Engineers (like all other groups) have well-defined personality traits. If you want to convert them, you need to understand what makes them tick.
It’s been challenging to limit this list to five surefire ways to fail to convert a prospect, but these will be a good start.
Converting the alpha male is surprisingly easy if you follow these simple rules.
Since we’re using only about 25% of our mental capacity to listen to others, there’s plenty of brain “bandwidth” left over to be distracted with other thoughts. While we’re distracted, we’re not listening carefully.
Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, let me define my “problem.” I’m not very effective when I coach male advisors how to deal with women, whether meeting with female prospects or couples. I don’t have this issue with female advisors, who generally are more empathetic and sensitive to these issues than men.
The difficulty advisors face when trying to persuade clients to abandon their long-trusted way of investing is rooted in a well-known psychological bias. Understanding this bias is the key to gaining more assets.
Every one of my coaching clients asks the same question: What works and what doesn’t when it comes to generating new leads? Most have had experience (often at considerable expense) with marketing that fits into the latter category. Here’s the activity I’ve found works best.