Developing great questions can create many more appointments. By using the questions to inspire prospects and clients to take action, those appointments will achieve more successful outcomes.
I often use current financial headlines to develop great questions. Those questions help my clients identify the planning issues that require immediate consideration.
Recently, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provided a catchy headline that practically begged you to ask all your clients and prospects about it. It read, “Americans now pay more in taxes than for food clothing and housing combined.”
It was in all the papers, so you could find multiple examples to use. I like to select both a national newspaper and a more local newspaper.
Now, before you use the information, you have to determine whether it is true and whether it is portrayed accurately. I admit that, at first, I was confused by this headline. Remember, about 50 percent of Americans do not pay income taxes, so for them, the information does not apply. This headline really only applies to the top 20 percent of wage earners in our country. Understanding this information helps to formulate very powerful questions. I will return to that statement later.
So, what did the CBO mean when they released this information? They were looking at these numbers as a percentage of our country’s total gross domestic product (GDP). Taxes are a larger portion of our GDP than food, clothing and housing combined. They were looking at these numbers as they pertained to the entire country, rather than to individuals.