Many advisors feel like they don't have a compelling personal story, but they probably do — they just have to discover it. It requires a strong self-assessment and a heavy dose of honesty.

Sharing a personal story with clients can give them an insight into who you are and what you value, and it’s a great way to set the stage for long-term relationships.

Here are three steps suggested by Financial Planning columnist John J. Bowen on how to discover your personal story to connect with clients.

Step One – Find your story by asking yourself three questions: who has influenced your belief system; which events have moved you the most; and how did you get through a low point?

Step Two – Hone your story. Once you have an initial version, tell it to at least 10 people you trust. Take note of their reactions to help you decide the best parts.

Step Three – Use your story. Once it’s polished, you’ll be ready to share it with prospects, partners, and team members.

What’s the upshot of all this? The more personal your story is, the more connected prospects and clients will feel with you, and as you foster a sense of connectedness, you’ll build business too.