If you want to attract new clients, spend time talking about the benefits that people will have by working with you. Too many advisors talk mostly about their process. The problem with that is people don't care about your process.

Clients come to you for your expertise, because they don't have the skills necessary to design and execute a financial strategy that will give them the life they want. And they assume you have the right skills so they don't really want to hear about them, they want to hear about the outcome you will help them create.

I like to cook. But I don't cook like a chef. When I go out to eat, I want the experience of a meal it takes a chef to provide me. If I have heard from friends and read reviews that the kitchen at a particular restaurant produces amazing meals, I am not that interested in getting a step by step description of what they will do to create what I order. I'm interested in what's going to be on my plate. I have no desire to hear the waiter tell me that the chef will first sear the meat then deglaze the pan then reduce it to make the pan sauce, etc. I want to know what he's going to cook for me and then I just want to enjoy it.

Even if you are in the habit of describing your process and clients respond at the conclusion "wow, that's a great process" it is probably because you ended with "and so, we can deliver more income and more consistency by using this strategy." It is the last sentence they will be focusing on. They may be impressed with your description but when they compliment you on the obvious genius of your method they are most likely responding to the promised outcome not to the process itself.

That's why investment product sales literature almost invariably includes performance statistics. Not that I think that's what you should be doing.  But those ads and brochures are put together by professional marketers who have at least a superficial understanding of what their customers want. I am not recommending that you should advertise investment performance.  The lesson here is to talk about what you will deliver in terms of an outcome rather than a description of what you do to produce it.

It is natural that advisors want to talk about their processes. You spend a lot of time and energy learning your craft and performing due diligence and consistently fine tuning it. Many advisors believe it is what separates them from other advisors in the minds of their clients - although it almost certainly is not. When advisors start talking technical with their clients, they probably sounds pretty much the same. What gets the clients attention is the results.

When developing your communication strategy, then, stress what it will do for the clients. It is Marketing 101 - talk about the benefits.

What a prospect asks "why should I hire you?" Tell them about the solutions you bring to the challenges they have. Tell them about how you deliver an outcome they are looking for. Describe how their lives can be better because they work with you. Talk about what matters to them (the good things that will happen) rather than the steps you have to follow to do your job. You will find that people are a lot more interested in what you have to say.

What have you found that you say that gets people engaged and want to talk to you? Do you have a particularly effective way to describe your service offering that inspires conversation? Contribute a comment and let's see how many great ideas we can share.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Financial Planning content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access