We live at a time when people like to have choices. The internet affords people a seemingly unlimited number of choices for anything they desire, and they will surf the Web for hours searching for the perfect option. That may be fine when searching for consumer products, vacation options, or the best roads to take to their destination. But, when it comes to finding the right financial solutions, too many options often lead to “analysis paralysis.” In the financial realm, where the stakes are often high, too many choices can make people fearful of choosing the wrong one, increasing the likelihood they’ll choose to do nothing.
Financial advisors are sometimes complicit in creating analysis by paralysis by offering their clients too many options. It’s not intentional. There very well could be several good options for addressing a particular situation they feel their clients need to consider in many cases. Sometimes, advisors think it’s necessary to present multiple options to let their clients know they’ve covered all the bases. And in some cases, advisors have the impression that clients like to have options.
Don’t make your job more difficult
While all that may be true, the most critical job financial advisors have is to get their clients to take action on their recommendations to improve their financial lives. However, when given options or multiple choices, clients naturally want to take a step back to make sure they fully understand their implications. Having multiple options to consider can have the effect of sowing doubt as to which option to choose. And if the options presented are the least bit complex, the more focused they will be on making a perfect choice, compelling them to evaluate them more carefully before making a decision.
The value you bring to the relationship
The most significant value financial advisors offer their clients is to help them understand what they want. That’s achieved through a thorough discovery with an emphasis on clarifying their goals, preferences, and priorities and gaining a clear understanding of their importance to your clients. The more extensively financial advisors guide their clients through this process, the more trust and confidence they’ll have that their advisor will present the optimal solution. From there, financial advisors can curate the options and identify the one that checks all the boxes for their clients.
Some financial advisors like to present at least two options so their clients can compare side by side. That way, their clients can feel a part of the decision-making process in choosing their solution. That’s a sound approach if the financial advisor is well-prepared to illustrate the potential trade-offs and guide their clients through a series of critical factors to consider in light of their goals, preferences, and priorities. When presented in that format, clients feel more involved in the process, but, more importantly, they are better able to make the “right” choice with confidence.
Why clients choose you
Your clients come to you because they trust you to help them make decisions they can’t or don’t want to make on their own. Your most essential role in the advisory relationship is to get them to act on your recommendations, without which their financial lives won’t improve. The value you bring to the relationship is your ability to help them avoid “analysis paralysis” so they can act with confidence. If your clients wanted more choices or options, they’d go surf the Web. Instead, your clients chose you to present the very best option based on everything you know about them.