What is Cognitive Fluency and how can YOU use it to win more ideal clients?
Cognitive fluency refers to the ease with which information can be processed and understood by the brain. This refers to the amount of mental effort required to understand, retain, and apply information.
Essentially, the more fluently your prospects can process the information you provide to them, the easier it is for them to make decisions. Like the decision to work with you.
Cognitive fluency means clarity – the clarity with which you communicate your value and the ease with which your prospect can process and understand that information.
Your Step-by-Step Process
This is why I highly recommend you clearly communicate the steps a prospect will go through with you to determine if you are right for them as well as the process (step by step) you will employ as you help them reach their financial goals.
Many advisors I have interviewed and coached use a graphic representation of their process on their website and other materials so their prospects see a clear path to moving forward.
The advisors I coach in this area tell me that this simple adjustment has significantly improved their “win ratio” of prospects to clients.
Referrals & Introductions
In addition to clarity, another element of cognitive fluency is familiarity. The more familiar a potential prospect is with you before they meet with you, their chances of hiring you increase significantly.
This is one of several reasons why advisors who work through referrals and introductions win a much higher percentage of new clients. Combining the borrowed trust inherited in introductions with clarity and familiarity creates a potent combination.
Here are 4 specific actions you can take to harness the power of cognitive fluency:
- Keep your presentations simple and clear. A well-structured, easy-to-follow presentation can go a long way in helping potential clients understand how your value proposition applies to them. Use clear language and avoid industry jargon and use visual aids to help explain complex concepts. And don’t overwhelm them with too much information.
- Utilize repetition. Repetition is a key component of cognitive fluency. By consistently referring back to the key benefits of working with you – relevant to your prospects – contributes to clarity, familiarity, and confidence.
- Provide social proof. Social proof refers to the idea that people are more likely to follow the actions of others. For financial professionals, this can be a little tricky. The rules around testimonials have become a bit more relaxed, which helps. Referrals are a form of social proof. Showing photos of your actual clients on your website or on the wall in your office is social proof. Sharing anecdotes and mini case studies, even though anonymous, are also a form of social proof.
- Highlight the benefits. Instead of simply listing features, focus on the benefits of the work you do. This will help potential clients understand the value of your offerings and make the decision-making process easier for them. One of the key components of the coaching I do with advisors is helping them translate their features – which they are great at talking about – into relevant benefits to their prospects and clients. [I should probably write a blog post just about the confusion most advisors have around features, advantages, and benefits.]
Without question, cognitive fluency is a critical component of your client acquisition process. By keeping presentations simple and clear, utilizing repetition, providing social proof, highlighting the benefits, and using a graphic representation of your process, you can harness the power of cognitive fluency and win more clients.
By understanding how cognitive fluency affects the decision-making process, you can help potential prospects feel confident in their decision to work with you and feel confident that you are right for them.