“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
“I have a dream.”
“That’s one small step for man.”
"Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."
Those memorable quotes are so famous and so moving that I don’t need to tell you who said them—you already know. They’re part of our country’s history. Part of our collective memory.
Likewise, as an advisor, you should use the English language in inspirational ways to motivate prospects and get them off the fence to become a client. I’m not talking about slick manipulation. Rather, I’m talking about choosing your words carefully so you succinctly impart your message and create a positive feeling and mental picture in your prospect’s mind.
At Peak Advisor Alliance, we call these “Power Phrases.” They’re short, “a-ha” type messages that are immediately absorbed by your prospect and elevate you in their eyes. Here are a few examples:
“My job isn’t to make you wealthy; you are already wealthy. My job is to keep you from getting poor.” -- Ron Carson
When to Use: The number one question high net worth people have is, “Do I have enough; will I run out of money?” By using this phrase you are answering a high net worth prospect’s largest concern without being asked the question. You can use this with clients, too. Share this phrase as part of your value proposition with prospects or as one of your primary objectives with all of your clients.
“We don’t have a get rich process. We have a stay rich process.” -- Various Peak Advisor Alliance Members
When to Use: This is a variation of the first quote. Use the one that is most comfortable for you. This phrase is also a great way to summarize your investment management process. You can discuss your investment management process and at the end say, “We’ve just described our investment process to you. We believe that it does a lot of things. But, at the end of the day, it’s really simple. ‘We don’t have a get rich process, we have a stay rich process.’”
“We make a decision about your account everyday. Most days we decide to do nothing.” --Various Peak Advisor Alliance Members
When to Use: Don’t let your own great patience and/or the patience of your great process be misinterpreted as inaction. Explain that you are actively (and patiently) executing your strategy.
“One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.” -- Chinese Proverb
“We would rather be out of the market wishing we were in than in the market wishing we were out.” -- Louise Yamada
When to Use: Whenever your clients are giving you pushback on performance or making comments about recent investment performance, use these quotes to remind them that you are on a path… the right path. And that you will stay on that path so their goals are achieved.
“Our investment approach is to never shoot a big number. We know if we protect the downside, the upside takes care of itself. Shooting 70 and 72 may not be as exciting as shooting 65 and then 82; but, after two rounds, we are five strokes ahead.” --Greg Opitz
“It’s not how many birdies you make. It’s how many bogeys you avoid.” -- Greg Opitz
When to Use: For advisors and prospects who enjoy golf, these two simple messages makes it clear that you take a balanced approach to investing. You’re not going to “shoot the lights out” in a roaring bull market, but you’re also not going to send your prospect to the poor house in a bleak bear market.
“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” -- John F. Kennedy
When to Use: If you are bearish and the market is moving up, you could say to a client, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. The sun may be shining now on the market, but our Doppler radar shows a hurricane swirling in the ocean and it’s heading our way. That’s why we’re getting defensive.”
“Some people are making such thorough preparation for rainy days that they aren't enjoying today's sunshine.” -- William Feather
When to Use: On the other hand, if you are bullish on the market and you are talking to a prospect who is concerned and wants to invest conservatively, you could say, “Some people are making such thorough preparation for rainy days that they aren't enjoying today's sunshine. The sun is shining right now so we are bullish, but with our investment process, we always carry an umbrella in case the weather changes suddenly.”
One of the keys to using these quotes is that you have to be authentic and genuine. If there’s any hint that you’re pulling these phrases out of your “bag of tricks,” then your prospects will see you for what you are—a phony.
Print this article then read through each quote again. Put a check mark by those that resonate with you. If necessary, modify the phrase a bit so it “becomes” you. At the end of the day, these quotes have to roll off your tongue and sound as natural as saying “thank you.”
If you want a longer list of Power Phrases to choose from, click here to download more.
I’d love to hear your stories about how you’ve used these phrases. Feel free to post your story in “Discuss this article” below. Enjoy!
Steve Sanduski, CFP®, is the Managing Partner of Peak Advisor Alliance, a financial advisor coaching and practice management resources organization. He is also a New York Times bestselling author and co-author of, Tested in the Trenches: A 9 Step Plan for Building and Sustaining a Million-Dollar Financial Services Practice. To learn more, visit, http://www.peakadvisoralliance.com/ and http://www.truewealthcommunity.com/.