Build connection by sharing your clients' worries

By Guest |  04-07-19 | 
 
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Morningstar invites thought leaders from the investment community to share their insights. Views expressed are personal and should not be construed as investment advice.

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 advisers 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 advisers 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.

This post by Stephen Wershing was first published on The Client Driven Practice.

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