Two Questions Advisors Need to Stop Asking

“So, what keeps you up at night?”

Please don’t say that! If it’s on your website, take it down. If you’re using it in conversation, talking with prospects, stop saying it. It can backfire on you so easily. What if nothing’s keeping that person up at night? Or what if they do have concerns but are sleeping really well? Should they be staying awake at night if they have some concerns, but they can process them themselves or with the counsel of someone like yourself? Maybe nothing’s keeping them up at night. A number of people will inwardly resist or even have their hackles raised when you mention that question because no one likes to think that they’re angst-filled, and even if they are, no one really rushes to admit it. So drop that language.

You can use other language instead — something along the lines of, “Thinking about your biggest financial concerns, what would be the top two?” Or, “Thinking about things that concern you financially, what would be a couple that are number one and number two for you?”, and, “Hey, and if you haven’t got issues that are number one and number two financial concerns for you, what do you most want to see out of your financial goals and aspirations? What do you want that part of your life to look like regarding the choices you’d like to have later on in life?” So there’s some verbiage to use instead of, “What keeps you up at night?”

Secondly, the “So what are you hearing from your advisor?” question. Don’t go there. You want to keep the conversation focused on what you bring to the party. Don’t bring somebody else into the conversation. Who cares what they think? You’re here to deliver your professional opinion, your professional approach. Give only as much as you want to deliver at that time, for what’s most appropriate. You don’t necessarily want to answer every question for that prospect because you ideally want to have them in your office, where you can share a little more personally and maybe more privately for their sake.

Resist the so-what-are-you-hearing-from-your-advisor question because what if they’re hearing, “Hey, well here’s what they’re thinking about present GDP relative to interest rates and how they think that might fluctuate given the election cycle we’re in and what 2021 might bring along.” Good luck competing with that! You don’t want to go toe to toe with that. So don’t factor in what they’re hearing from their advisor.

To ensure you have language that you’re comfortable with and have prospects or new clients responding to what they are concerned about,

  1. Have your words dialed in. Don’t just wing it when the opportunity arises. Know exactly what you’re going to say.
  2. Practice what you’re going to say. It’s going to come out most effectively when you’ve practiced it and when you’re most comfortable knowing exactly when to bring this verbiage out in the conversation.
  3. Practice it with friends. While we’re socially distanced like this (some more so than others), practice with colleagues. Get on a Zoom call. Deliver this kind of language to each other, and critique each other. See how it feels. See where you can tighten it up a little bit.

Learn the language that really counts, that has you setting yourself apart from a number of advisors out there just taking the easy way out. Dial in language that helps and will show that prospect or new client that you really know how to help the most.

I look forward to bringing you another Distraction-Proof Advisor Idea next week.

Related: 4 High-Impact Ideas for Financial Advisors for the Last 90 Days