The Client-centred Blog

A simple guide to influencing financial planning clients

Do you want to become more effective at influencing financial planning clients?

In this simple guide I explore one of the most crucial factors of influence you can apply immediately for better results.

Influencing financial planning clients is an essential ability if you are going to win their business and successfully help them to achieve their goals.

So, where can you begin?

Twenty odd years ago I read a book by Dr Robert B. Cialdini called, ‘Influence’. I recommend it because it is a science-based approach backed up by rigorous research. In addition, the principles in this book are being used on you at every single attempt to influence you. And for that reason alone, it is useful to know about them.

I was also fortunate enough to attend a live two-day training with Dr Cialdini and an analogy he shared has stuck with me ever since.

Influencing financial planning clients begins with context

Imagine you have three buckets of water.

One is hot, one is very cold, and one is room temperature.

If you put your hand into the room temperature bucket, how will it feel? Room temperature!

But if your first put your hand into the hot bucket for a minute and then the room temperature bucket, how will it feel? It will feel cold.

And if you put your hand into the cold bucket for a minute and then the room temperature bucket, how will it feel? It will feel hot.

The point of this analogy to realise that:

You can change the way people feel about everything in relation to what you did immediately before.

How a flow of money was created by changing the context

A favourite story of mine is from Jacques Prevert, a French poet.

He once walked by a blind beggar who had a sign next to him that read:

“Blind Man Without a Pension”

He asked the man how he was doing, and the blind man replied:

“Very badly, no one is making any donations.”

Jacques picked up the man’s sign and re-wrote what it said.

Three days later he walked by the blind man again and him how he was doing. He said:

“Fantastic! My hat is filling up three times a day.”

So, what did he change?

He replaced “Blind Man without a pension” with “Spring is coming, but I won’t see it”.

By changing the context, he knew that it would change the way people thought about the situation.

Think about the context to influence financial planning clients

In doing high impact financial planning and helping your clients achieve their goals, then having them follow your advice is crucial if they are to be successful. Click here to read, ‘Presenting your clients financial plan – the key to success’.

Also, it is inevitable that you will need to coach some of your clients as they will have thinking, behaviour and habits that will otherwise sabotage their goals.

Successfully influencing your clients means that they willingly alter their thinking and behaviour, so it aligns with their goals and outcomes.

How do you best accomplish this?

This is why context is so important. People take action when there is a compelling enough reason for them to do so.

The most important context is within what they most want and what they most want to avoid. 

How do financial advisers get more clients?

I was recently speaking with an adviser who had experienced several potential clients deciding to go elsewhere.

What stood out to me was that this was a context problem.

The adviser was talking about products and investments with these people, but there was no context. 

Most people have little interest in products and investments.  

When you conduct conversations that dive deeply into what clients really want (and want to avoid) and they emotionally and spiritually connect with this, it puts your subsequent advice into a powerful context.

Ultimately, when people can clearly see that something will help them get what they want then they are far more likely to do it.

P.S. You can download my FREE audio, ‘What every financial planner should know about getting clients’ by clicking here.


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