A realisation that has been extremely helpful to me is that you can never want something for your client more than they want it for themselves.
In this way, financial planning is almost certainly going to be most beneficial when a client sells it to themselves.
This article explores why this is and one of the most effective ways to have it happen.
Trying to convince people is a mistake
A favourite quote of mine is by marketing expert and prolific author Seth Godin. He said:
“People don’t believe what you tell them.
They rarely believe what you show them.
They often believe what their friends tell them.
They always believe what they tell themselves.”
Consequently, financial planning will be most successful when clients convince themselves of the value. This is because we are far more motivated to follow through on the actions necessary to achieve success when we are fully behind what we are doing.
Moving from transactional advice to financial planning
An adviser I have been working with wanted to shift her business from a transactional model to becoming a financial planning led business.
Only there was a problem.
She had been trying to sell financial planning and was experiencing far more push-back and resistance from clients than she expected and could not understand why.
What can lead to push-back from clients?
Historically, the adviser had been exceptionally good at connecting with people and quickly building strong relationships. She was genuinely interested in people, straight talking, and always went the extra mile to give brilliant service.
This is what her clients bought into. They implicitly trusted her and she had always received a lot of recommendations.
As she began to move into financial planning, she had been trying to convince people of the value of it. She was trying to explain how it worked and what it could do for them, but they were not buying into it.
Financial Planning is an experience, not just a process
I knew what she was going through because I had gone through exactly the same thing myself when I first became a coach. I tried to explain coaching to people, what it could do for them, and why it was a good investment. And, just like my client, I got far more push back than I expected.
This all changed when I learned one extremely valuable thing.
Do not sell concepts; create an experience right from the beginning
I stopped trying to explain coaching and instead gave people the experience of it. This immediately turned things around because they experienced the benefit, not just tried to imagine what it could do for them.
This applies equally to financial planning.
If you try to sell financial planning as a concept, as my client was doing, a lot of people will struggle to see how it could work for them because there is no context.
What do clients want?
Most people do not care about the various stages of financial planning and how it all works. Why would they? This would be like taking your car to the garage and having the mechanic give you detailed information about how your car works.
Most people do not care how something works unless it clearly addresses the question, “Will it help me get what I want?”
Therefore, the question I asked my client was, “Why have you stopped being yourself?”
The penny then dropped. She been over-thinking it and realised all she needed to do was return to what she was already good at – connecting with people, being interested in them, asking questions, and listening.
What she found was that clients interest immediately went up. She did not need to try and sell financial planning because the engagements were selling themselves.
Why would this happen?
Because it was all about the client, in the context of their lives. She did not need to try and convince them of anything. When people get really clear about what they want the motivation to take action is already built into it.
PS. What is the biggest factor in successful financial planning? Click here to discover more.