How Advisors Can Turn Conversations Into Clients

Happy Wednesday everybody. First of all, thank you so much for your feedback on last week’s transitioning from a BD to an RA mindset video. I’ll be recording a lot more content like that.

I want to talk today about a topic that’s near and dear to many of your hearts, sales, communication and language 011. And I say 101 half jokingly because mastering the art of being casual and conversational with people while also being intentional and powerful is really difficult. And whether you’ve been in the business three or 30 years, one thing we hear all the time from advisors is, gosh, it’s just so hard to convert this prospect or lead to a client, or I have tons of casual relationships with people, we catch up, but I don’t know how to take that next step. And we’ve had a lot of advisors asking themselves, was I really maximizing my time in front of this prospect and what could I have done differently? So I want to point out a couple of things, roadblocks that I hear all the time from advisors that emerge in these conversations and then give you some tips, hopefully that are useful.

The first thing I’d say is and I’ll say this word a thousand times on this video but intentionality is so important. You are honing a craft and if you take your craft seriously, sales and any communication role, then you have to be incredibly intentional about every aspect of it. And so the first thing I asked folks to do is reflect on the conversations that they’ve had or that they have and start being more intentional about noticing what they do well and what they don’t do well. And so questions to ask yourself, do you know what you’re listening for in the conversation? And is what you’re listening for aligned with what the client likely wants or what would motivate them to make a decision? I’ll give you an example. And here’s a roadblock for many of our advisors who come from the insurance BD world. And by the way, I will say, unless you are a master meditator, most of us go into conversations either as a defensive or aggressive listener, meaning we’re listening for the things we want to listen for.

So a lot of times this comes from training and muscle memory. So we’re going into conversations, thinking, God where’s the life insurance gap here. How much in premium? I have a quota to fill. I have to hit my minimum requirements. This absolutely has to end up in a sale, otherwise I’m not gonna hit X, Y, Z. And so we go into these conversations not free of minds and ultimately not able to have the genuine conversations that we want to have. ‘Cause remember, the objective, and this is a reframe, the objective is not to get the person to say yes to you running an illustration for them. The objective, and the objective for you, should be to get the person to feel the dopamine surge that you feel when you have a conversation with somebody who’s genuinely interested in what you’re saying.

I talk about that dopamine surge a lot. When we are talking to somebody and talking about ourselves, we get that rush of feeling happy. When we are talking to somebody and they are giving us cues and signals that they’re listening, that actually doubles the dopamine that’s produced in our bodies. And so I want you to think about whether you’re creating an experience for somebody when you’re catching up with them or asking them about how they are that leaves them feeling positively about the conversation. So notice if you are answering more questions than you’re asking. Notice if you are giving the person space to answer open-ended questions, versus asking them yes or no questions or closed ended questions. And so giving the person space to talk and to talk about themselves while you’re listening, incredibly important. The other thing I’d say is recognize and try to pick up on this earlier and earlier in the conversation, recognize what you believe is important to discuss versus what the client or end person believes is important to discuss.

So I’ll give you another example. We hear from many advisors who are either they’ve transitioned from being a solo advisor to joining a team, or they’re going through a rebrand, or they’re changing their broker dealer. And in their mind, they’re thinking, okay, that’s my differentiator. I have to go into this conversation talking about the fact that we’re making this big transition and it’s because we want to serve clients better. And the truth is that that is perhaps a differentiator and a wow factor for you, but not necessarily for the end client. In other words, the end client may not care that you switched contracts within your firm. And so I want you to ask yourselves, as you reflect on conversations and think about what you talk most about, is that something that you know is important for the end client to hear or is it something that’s important for you to share? Understanding the difference, really important. And there are some ways in which you can pick up on clues based on what the client is saying.

So for example, if the person that you’re talking to is immediately defaulting to asking you a question like, you’re, you’re an advisor should I be investing right now? Should I be adding money to the market? Should I be moving to cash? Advisers, have a heart attack sometimes, the newer ones maybe when they hear that question. And all these things are jumping through their heads, like, okay, here’s my opportunity. Should I talk about diversification? Should I talk about the fact that we needed to see an objective plan? And what I think advisors need to get really good at is asking themselves immediately, what’s the objective of that question? Like, what does the person want to hear? Perhaps they need to hear validation and reinforcement. And in many cases, that’s what people are doing. They in their hearts perhaps or heads know what the right answer might be but they need validation from an expert.

And so I ask advisors to think about all those types of questions that could emerge during a conversation and having a really intentional, punchy response to that that aligns with what the client or consumer is looking for. And a lot of this is dependent on being able to read people’s language and listen for inflection and tone. But having a response like, look, the best time to invest was yesterday. The next best time is today. We’ve learned that nobody has the ability to time the market or make any guesses correctly. So being invested at all times with a professional who knows what they’re doing, absolutely critical and leaving it at that. And so getting good with answering questions in a way that’s gonna make the client feel like they were heard and like we’re validating what they’re saying, really important. The other thing I’d say, sorry for saying really important, by the way, as I’m intentionally thinking about what I’m saying.

The second thing is, so being intentional about every aspect of the conversation, how you navigate it, how you answer questions, the second thing is replacing words and language. So I think, I believe, I want you to replace that with statements and phrases, and I actually have a list that I use for myself. I make sure to incorporate these into conversations. Saying things emphatically, with conviction, with certainty. Now if compliance is listening, we can’t say we’re certain we’re gonna increase your wealth by two X, but saying, look, in my experience I can tell you with a 100% conviction that we can never make a call on which asset class is gonna outperform. I can tell you that unequivocally. Unequivocally, fundamentally, have your list of go-to words and phrases that really subtly reinforce to the listener that you’re the expert and that you have a lot of experience doing this.

By the way, you don’t have to go into a conversation about everything you know about investments and investing but using subtle language like that and removing anything where there’s a question mark. So maybe, we believe, I think. One thing I really think about this year, removing that from your language and replacing those words also a good tactic. The third thing I’ll say is, and I know we’re running up on time, have your go-to stories and they don’t have to be stories that are really deep where you’re going into a story about how you helped a client whose wife passed away. A couple of go-to stories. This has been an anomaly of a year. What we’re most happy about is that what emerged for us this year is that there were a lot of professionals out there trying to pose as experts. And we had a couple of really good friends and family members come to us and say, hey, this person’s trying to position this product with me. And thank God we were there and we do with planning because we were able to help them not make a huge mistake. Go to stories that are quick and that don’t get so deep in to a specific product or avenue where the client is checking out, but that are relatable and that make total sense.

The last thing I’ll say in five seconds here, practice. If you don’t want to record your conversations, which I recommend you do, your practice language rather, I highly recommend practicing every single day.

Tried to keep it under 10 minutes. I just went over. I hope this was helpful. Let us know what you think. I’ll talk to you next week, same place, same time. Take care, bye.

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