The Client-centred Blog

Scripts – are they a help or a hindrance?

Going back several years I was once asked by the PFS to speak at the regional conferences on ‘How to make an effective elevator pitch’.

In case you don’t know, an elevator pitch is a script you learn to describe your business.

It is supposed to be clever, engaging and pre-rehearsed so that it just naturally trips off your tongue. And is short enough to deliver in an elevator ride.

I believe the original idea came from the tech world.

If you were a young tech entrepreneur needing capital investment (so the story goes) and happened to get into a lift with a Bill Gates type who asked you “What do you do?”, your brilliant reply would immediately have him wanting to know more.

An elevator pitch is just one example of a script, but there are all manner available – initial meeting scripts, fee scripts, referral scripts, and lots more.

So, how useful are they? Do they help you or do they hinder you?

I remember coach Michael Neill once sharing a story about a guy he knew who won the world elevator speech championship!

Michael said he asked him just how much business this brilliant speech had won him, and he said…

None!

He said that being the champion had brought him some business but the elevator speech itself had yielded nothing.

Very telling!

Here is how it looks to me.

Having a well-thought-out way to express what you want to say seems like a great idea and on one level it makes perfect sense.

In practice, it is often a different story and there are at least two significant reasons why.

Firstly, one of the reasons people can be attracted to the idea of a script is because they are not clear in their own mind about what they are doing. So, it appears that a script will take the pressure off.

That’s perfectly fine and we can all lack clarity at times.

But, in my work as a business coach, I have found it far more powerful to help people get totally clear and congruent around what they are doing, rather than just providing them with a bunch of words.

This leads to the second reason…

A couple of days ago my friend David Callahan (successful actor, voice artist, and public speaking coach) delivered an insightful webinar to my ‘Freedom of mind programme’ group.

I asked David about scripts and making them sound authentic and this is what he said:

‘It has nothing to do with the content. It is about moving people to the point where the words don’t matter.’

So, what does this mean?

The impact you have is all about the quality of your presence, not the words. It’s always about the feeling behind the words.

If a script is delivered like you are just repeating something you heard or read, then it will more than likely have no (or even a negative) impact.

So, are scripts a help or a hindrance?

To me, there’s nothing wrong with having useful ways to describe what you do or to lead into a conversation.

But the most important factor in someone doing business with you is that they trust you implicitly.

If you are 100% behind a script and you can deliver it authentically, then great.

But if it causes you to become self-absorbed and robotic, no script can help you.

P.S. If scripts are something you’ve struggled with or you would like to be more articulate and clear when working with clients then consider joining us on the programme next week and put all that behind you.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Leave a Comment

Related articles

The 8 keys to inspiring financial planning meetings every time!
There are specific and predictable keys that result in inspiring financial planning meetings every time. And by paying attention and making consistent progress with each key, you are: 1. No longer leaving the quality of your meetings to chance. 2. Raising the bar to an exceptionally high level. In this article I list the 8 essential keys that contribute to an inspiring, repeatable process.
The 12 client-centred mind shifts - part 2
You almost certainly have clients that are worried about their finances, what might happen in future, and if they are doing the right things. We are living in challenging times. Some advisers avoid their clients at times like this. They don't want to tell them their investments have gone down or be faced with having to explain themselves.
The most powerful two word financial planning question
This articles shares a two-word financial question that can significantly increase the value of financial planning for a client. It is also be great for opening up new business opportunities too. So, let me share how I was inspired to write this post.
Top 10 ways to capture and keep your financial planning client’s attention
To make financial planning meaningful and a good investment for your client it requires them to be fully engaged and do their best thinking in your meetings. Yet we also live in a society where an ever-increasing number of things are competing for our attention. People have shorter and shorter attention spans. So, how do you capture and keep your financial planning client’s attention?
Top 10 coaching books for financial planners
If you are doing genuine financial planning where you are helping your client identify and accomplish their goals and live the life they want then coaching them is a necessity. After all, life is full of distractions and people come off track all the time. For example, people can lose focus or their sense of purpose. From time to time they may feel discouraged, disheartened, or overwhelmed.
How to run magical financial planning review meetings - every time
When a client relationship is new it will feel fresh, engaging, and there will often be a lot to do. You are getting to know your client, they are getting to know you, and important issues are being dealt with. But how do you keep financial planning review meetings fresh, insightful, and inspiring, year after year?
The right way to set financial planning goals
In this article, you are going to discover how to help your clients set financial planning goals, the right way. You are also going to learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy goals and how this makes a massive difference to your client’s level of motivation, inspiration, and enjoyment of life now.
Highly effective rapport building for financial planners
A deep rapport with your client is the foundation for a productive, profitable, and long-lasting relationship. Therefore, being highly effective at quickly building and maintaining a deep rapport is an essential skill for financial planners.
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.
One of the best financial planning questions and how to use it
Often, the best financial planning questions are the ones that help a client to open up and think more deeply. Why is this important? Because the impact of your financial planning and advice is directly correlated to quality of the information you gather from your client.
Should you take notes in a financial planning meeting?
What is the right approach to note taking in financial planning meetings? This is a question that often comes up in my coaching programmes with financial planners. So, let's take a closer look.
4 ways to create massive value financial planning meetings
How to do a brilliant financial planning fact find
Doing a brilliant financial planning fact find underpins everything that you do for a client. It is what differentiates you from other financial planners and is a golden opportunity to build exceptional relationships and provide massive value. But there are also two very different elements to fact finding.
The hidden secret to high-impact financial planning meetings
Do you want to have your financial planning meetings be high-impact, high-engagement experiences for both your clients and you? Of course! We all want this, don't we?
5 steps financial planners can take to becoming a better listener
As a financial planner what value is there in becoming a better listener? Is it worth your time, effort, and focus to improve? This article explores the value of deep listening and 5 practical steps you can take to immediately become a better listener.
Asking essential financial planning questions: the ones that no one else thinks to ask
This article looks at an important aspect of asking financial planning questions that often get neglected. Often, financial advice is triggered when something happens or is going to happens in a client’s life. For instance, the sale of a business, divorce, or an upcoming retirement.
How financial planners can build instant trust with clients
As a financial planner building instant trust with clients is one of the biggest obstacles you will need to overcome. This article looks at a different yet highly effective approach.
What is the most important financial planning question of all?
Do you want to have greater impact with your clients, create more value, and escape the diminishing world of transactional financial advice? If so, there is an important financial planning question.
Presenting your clients financial plan - the key to success
How to get more financial planning referrals
Would you like to generate more high quality financial planning referrals?
Great people skills - in an instant!
Is it possible to have great people skills in an instant?
How to ask great financial planning questions
Asking great financial planning questions is the bedrock of gathering the information you need to create a highly compelling plan for your client.
Why is your financial planning practice culture the key to delivering exceptional service?
Are you committed to delivering exceptional client service? If so, employees who genuinely care, communicate well, and take responsibility are the key. The foundation of this resides in the business culture you create.
Are your financial planning conversations too nice?
What is the difference between a financial advisory conversation and a financial planning conversation?
Should Financial Planners stop talking about retirement?
Why should financial planners choose their language carefully in their financial planning conversations with clients?
Understanding your client’s world – key number 1
Financial Advice is so often delivered in very unimaginative ways that has little difference to how the majority of practitioners deliver it.