Build connection by sharing your clients’ worries

What’s on your clients’ minds? What do they worry about? What keeps them up at night?

How well could you capture their attention and build the relationship if you spoke about those particular needs?

One of the core principles we teach advisors is to talk about them, not you. Talking about what’s on their mind takes you, as Seth Godin puts it, from “please buy what I have” to “I see you.” When someone feels seen there is a connection.

Many advisors talk about what they do, with prospective clients evaluating whether to work together. They leave it to the listener to draw the line between what is being said and the need it addresses. What if you articulated how well you understood that need instead?

Imagine you are talking to a prospective client you would really like to work with. They ask what services you provide. You respond by describing the activities you undertake: schedule a discovery meeting where you can learn about their goals for the future, prepare a comprehensive financial plan, create a customized portfolio strategy. How motivating is that for the person you talk to?

Your response is all about you, your services, and what activities you undertake. It leaves the listener to draw the lines from those activities to the outcome they seek. And many of the people that you would most like to work with do not understand things like financial planning well enough to understand that it will provide a solution to the challenges they face.

What if you instead responded by articulating a nuanced understanding of what they are seeking or the obstacles they seek to overcome. You talk about them. You demonstrate an understanding of what they are looking for. I see you. In our experience, we find people get a lot more interested in the conversation.

One of the fascinating things is that if you can articulate an understanding of a client’s unique needs well enough they will take it on faith that you know how to address those problems. At some point you will need to prove it but simply communicating your appreciation for what they are up against is enough to secure a meeting.

Put the client’s needs first. What works in providing the best service works in your marketing as well.

2 Comments

  1. BrianAugust 23, 2019

    I agree completely with this, but is there an example of how you respond to that question about what services you provide, without it seeming like you are just not answering the question. I would not want meetings to feel too vague to clients.

    When you write "What if you instead responded by articulating a nuanced understanding of what they are seeking or the obstacles they seek to overcome. You talk about them. You demonstrate an understanding of what they are looking for. I see you. In our experience, we find people get a lot more interested in the conversation." is there an example response you could give?

    Reply
  2. Stephen WershingOctober 17, 2019

    Sorry for the unforgivable delay in responding to this question. Somehow the note got past me and I just found it today.
    Let's use as an example a prospect who is a senior executive at a big company. You might respond to a question about what you do with something like "well, so as a senior executive you may get stock options, right? You may wonder how to know when to cash out of them or even keep track of them. If another employer approached you to move to them, they would probably make an offer with a lot of complicated benefits. You may wish you had help in evaluating whether it is to your benefit to accept that offer. You are probably limited in how you can contribute to your 401(k). We have developed the expertise to advise on those topics and all the other concerns senior executives have."
    I hope that helps. Sorry again for the delay.

    Reply

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