Best Way to Persuade – Be Fluent in Real-People Language

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Want to know the best way to make a prospective client’s eyes glaze over? Say this: “Our portfolios have outperformed their benchmarks consistently and our clients with the most efficient investment results have successfully utilized our complex strategies for wealth protection and growth.”

What you, as a financial advisor, have just said is that your investment strategies are great, and you sell insurance and financial plans. What the prospect heard is, well… who knows what they heard?

But it wasn’t what you wanted.

After spending many years in the planning profession, I’ve found that advisors place superfluous importance on speaking intelligently and comprehensively. Knowing that people buy what they understand, we should speak our client’s language. It’s much easier than you think.

I once met with an elderly client who was a widow of a retired investment advisor. We thought, “Great – she knows what we do and has certainly heard her husband talk shop for years, so explaining will be easy.” As we sat at her breakfast table overlooking her luscious landscaping, my partner and I began to talk about all that had been put into place for her, complete with annuities, brokerage accounts, LTC, savings accounts, the works. We laid out a plethora of spreadsheets, trying to convey that she had nothing to worry about for the next 30 years, and each account she owned had a specific use and time period for distribution. When we got to the part about when to use bucket A and when to dip into bucket B and what happens if you need bucket C, I thought her sweet face would melt into tears.