How Advice Became Commoditized: Try Before You Buy

For years, your title as Financial Advisor, has been your unique value proposition: you provide financial advice.

That proposition has probably been good to you over the years, it was and still is the foundation of your current book of business.

Logic says, “Keep doing what you’re doing, don’t change”.

That assumes, the time period in which you’ve built your core book of business, is equivalent to the norms and thinking of the market now.

There is a shift that needs to happen in your mind, realizing that your current prospects are coming to you from a different mindset, than the ones you’ve got in your book, acquired at a different time in history.

Your prospects now, even high net-worth prospects, are most likely in “shopping mode”, potentially viewing you as a commodity…hence why you might be one of many advisors they’re “interviewing”.

It never used to be like that.

It's a dramatic shift.

From their perspective (not yours), they want to “try before they buy”, so they’ll take you in different directions in your initial meeting to “assess” whether they believe your advice, and approach to solving their issues, is worthy of their decision to hire you.

Frankly, this can feel demeaning, based on all the value and expertise you’ve personally built and developed over many years as a successful advisor.Why has this shift happened and what can you do to confront and rise above it?

For years, the advisory industry has used it’s one and only “product” to grow: the dispensing of advice.

You were probably taught by your mentors, that the best way, or the only way, to build trust with your prospect to win them as a client, is to give value through advice.

And when opportunities didn’t go your way, you naturally may have assumed they couldn’t “see” your value -- so you added more steps, more information, more “proof” of value into your sales process to differentiate yourself.

This probably stretched your sales cycle into multiple meetings, phone calls, requests for statements, and following up -- and then hours of free consulting/planning to “wow” your prospect – hoping to secure their commitment.

Essentially, your premise to making the sale, was the proof that your advice is what they were using as their single criteria to hire you.

Instead of rewarding you for the dispensing of your expertise, they continued shopping around, comparing your advice to other advisors, who also gave theirs for free, because they adopted this ubiquitous approach endorsed by industry leaders, as the only way.

What dispensing advice pre-sale has done, is allowed prospects to ‘try you’ with no strings attached, and with no compensation for your time – turning advice itself into a commodity.

It’s time to confront the true underlying cause of why highly qualified prospects aren’t committing to you at the end of your sales process:

Your financial planning competence, from their perspective, is no longer seen as unique or special, de-leveraging your advice as the yes/no decision point in the process.

Advisors used to be viewed as highly regarded as doctors, before this big shift in the market occurred.

Do you remember those days?

Somewhere along the way, the advisory profession collectively lost sight of this important fact...

Your prospect isn’t buying your advice or your financial planning solution -- they’re buying you as someone they need to trust first, before deciding to have you solve their issues.

The truth is, they have no idea whether your advice is more valuable than anyone else’s, because they can’t experience your results until after they’re a client, not before.

If they could, they’d be able to process and comprehend the same complex financial information that you can.

And if that was possible, then they would solve their financial problems on their own and wouldn’t need to talk to you.

They would be your equal.

But they’re not your equal, not by a long shot.

They have a problem which they can’t solve on their own, otherwise they wouldn’t be talking to you.

The sales conversation is not the time for you to prove yourself by sharing information and advice.

It’s the time for your prospect to understand their problem and face up to the truth, that their problem only continues to exist, because they never got the right advice in the first place.

Their problems will only get worse without your help.

It’s time to shift your focus from proving your value as an advisor, to helping your prospects see and understand the depths and impacts of not solving their problem.

The sale doesn’t depend on you -- it depends on them realizing they need you.

Helping them reach that conclusion, requires you to change your mindset around what it is that you do.

You’re not in the advice business -- you’re in trust business.

To learn more about selling from a trusted authority-based position, rather than as advice-based position, order your complimentary book and consultation below.

Ari Galper is the world’s number one authority on trust-based selling and is the most sought-after high-net worth/lead generation expert for financial advisors. His newest book, “Trust In A Split Second” has become an instant best-seller among financial advisors worldwide – you can get a Free copy of Ari’s book here and, when you click the “YES” button in the order form, you’ll also receive a complimentary “plug up the holes” lead generation consultation. Ari has been featured in CEO Magazine, Forbes, INC Magazine and the Financial Review. He is considered a contrarian in the financial services industry and in his many books, everything you learned about selling will be turned upside down. No more chasing, no pressure, no closing.

Related: The Quickest Path to Winning and Retaining Ideal Clients