The Client-centred Blog

How to sell more financial planning: stop giving advice

Tame your advice monster

Do you want to sell more financial planning and boost your income?

If so, then stopping giving financial advice might seem totally counter-intuitive, right?

In this article I explore why holding back from giving advice can consistently help you sell more financial planning and serve your clients better.

Why should financial planners hold back from giving advice?

Imagine this scenario.

You meet with a client or potential client, and you politely ask some questions, you listen, and soon you can see exactly what the client’s problem is and you know you can help them solve it.

What you do next is a fork in the road.

The fork that many financial advisers will take is to immediately enter ‘problem solving’ mode and start fixing.

But as this is what most financial advisers do, how does it differentiate you?

I am not saying never give advice. I am pointing out there is an alternative way if you want to deepen client relationships and create more business.

Why do financial advisors jump straight to giving advice?

1. It is safe ground for the adviser

If you have spent thousands of hours to become an expert financial planner or adviser, then on one level it makes sense to share your hard-earned knowledge. It is safe because it is what you know about.

2. To try and prove their worth

Many advisers think they need to prove themselves to the client by solving problems as soon as they come up.

3. They feel under pressure

This can be very subtle, but it can come from a perceived need to be liked, to please, or win the clients business as quickly as possible.  

How do you sell more financial planning?

Jumping in too soon is short-term thinking and it undermines the potential of what you could create.

Financial advisers who have high-impact relationships with clients are not tempted to problem solve too early. They will see the problems too, but instead, they note them and continue to stay curious. For instance, they are interested in:

*What is the bigger picture here?

*What other problems could the client have?

*What are the clients’ values?

*What is the client concerned about with money and in their life?

*What kind of relationship does the client have with money?

*Is the client even ready to solve their problem yet?

You could call this a gap conversation.

The purpose of the gap conversation is for both you and your client to see the gaps in both their outer and inner life. To read, ‘How to successfully sell financial planning’, click here.

This will often bring into focus things that the client may not have thought about or considered. It also differentiates you because it demonstrates you are deeply interested in your client and that you care.

Where do opportunities come from?

A wonderful question to reflect upon is:

How can I astonish, surprise, or wow this person by going over and above all expectations?

There is always the opportunity to serve clients in deeper, more creative ways, and make a bigger difference in their lives.

But this won’t happen if you jump on the first problem you see. It happens because you are willing to keep exploring.

Is this easy?

Not necessarily to begin with, which is why most people do not do it.

Author Michael Bungay Stanier calls it, ‘Taming your advice monster’. How I interpret this is that instead of making it about us, we make it all about the client. So, first and foremost, it is a shift in mindset.

This is one of the best ways to sell more financial planning because your client sees the bigger potential. Instead of just the one thing that may have been at the front of their mind there are now several and they see you as just the person to help them.

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


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