The Client-centred Blog

Selling financial planning – your job is not to convince people it’s for YOU to be convinced

How many people come dancing into your office asking you to create them a financial plan?

It rarely, if ever, happens, right? No one wants financial planning, just like no one wants coaching.

Usually, there is trigger event that leads a client thinking they want a financial product, or a financial issue solved.

So, instead of wanting financial planning they come to you with money to invest or claiming to want a pension, etc.

Yet the process of financial planning, just like coaching, when done well, is often life-changing for a client.

It is way more powerful than simply investing some money or arranging a pension for a client because those things are the vehicle, not the destination.

So, how do you shift the conversation from a product centred conversation to a client centred conversation?

What I have noticed is that some advisers are able to create this shift without effort and seamlessly, whilst others struggle and give up.

What is the difference?

The one thing that makes transitioning the conversation natural and easy is being congruent.

Meaning that YOU clearly see the value. It makes complete sense to YOU.

This doesn’t mean to say that you push your view onto someone in an aggressive or condescending way; quite the opposite. You attentively listen to your client, respect what they came for and then use your intuition to guide you.

Congruence is a rare quality

I liken congruence to a stick of Brighton rock. It says the same thing all the way through.

You cannot fake congruence. You can learn scripts, ‘magic phrases’ and prescriptive solutions to try to convince people, but none these will make you congruent if you’re not.

I was speaking to a client of mine today who runs a successful financial planning practice.

He was sharing how he has recently been in conversation with a very wealthy potential new client.

She already has private banking and a big-name accountancy firm working with her but her comment to my client was:

‘Nobody in 15 years has asked the questions you have or listened to me in the way you do.’

This is because most people have an ulterior motive or hidden agenda – they see the person in front of them as a means to an end. Or they try to make a good impression and fake their interest. Or they are afraid of the client and how they might react.

All of this creates stress in the practitioner and the client will sense it too. It undermines trust.

The key to congruence…

…is your understanding of how state of mind works. If we think that we are at the mercy of external circumstances – like winning a client’s business – then we will be incongruent and full of insecure feelings. If we think we need something from someone then we become a slave for their approval.

Once we clearly see the role of thought it takes a great deal of unnecessary and destructive thinking off our mind. We are then free to be fully present with a client, explore what’s right for them and without the ball and chain of our own agenda.

Nothing is more reassuring or convincing for a client than this.

John Dashfield

John Dashfield spent 14 years as a self-employed adviser. Since 2006 he has been a coach, mentor and author helping advisers create transformations in their business and personal lives.



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