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10 Ways to Tactfully Get Your Point Across

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The financial services industry has its own language.

You’re not dead, you just aren’t in the picture anymore.

You don’t sign something, you place your name.

(Related: 4 Ways to Create a Sense of Urgency)

You don’t want to deceive anyone, yet some ways of getting your point across are more comfortable than others.

1. Fee based platforms. The investment management industry has been moving from a transactional based model to a fee charged on assets under management. Explaining it’s a fee based platform has no client benefits.

Instead: “It’s pay as you go pricing. If you leave after for four years, three months, two years and one day, you are only paying for the time you were in the program.”

2. Are you an adversary? You are only interested in getting another order. When you use fee based pricing, the client pays the same annual percentage regardless of how many or few transactions take place.

Instead: “We are both on the same side of the table. When you do well, I do well.” (Because the asset base upon which fees are based increases.)

3. When it’s uncomfortable asking for the order. You are approaching a friend for business. They might think you are crossing a line. You think it’s a good move for them.

Instead: “Everyone should have the opportunity to say no. If this isn’t for you, or it isn’t the right time, that’s fine. I didn’t want to make the decision for you by not asking.”

4. Referrals. Its trade jargon. Your friend might hesitate because they know you are hitting them up for business. Try a softer approach.

Instead: “How well do you know (name)? She’s a person I might be able to help.” (Or “a person I would like to meet.”)

5. Closing. You can’t say: “C’mon, are you going to buy or not?” You realize you must read back the order, explaining exactly what they are committing to do as part of the order process.

Instead: Start with: “Are you ready to address the issues?” This expression includes “you”. It’s focused on them. The uncomfortable answer is “No.” Does anyone say, “No, I’m not ready to address the issues?”

6. You say, “I’m a financial advisor,” and they say…  “I already have one.” They assume you have one accountant, one mechanic and one barber. They forget they see multiple doctors.

Instead: “I’m a financial advisor. You probably work with one already.” You took the words out of their mouth. Sound them out about the quality of the relationship.

7. They seem to like their advisor. They don’t see any reason to change. They’re comfortable. Why fix something that isn’t broken?

Instead: “In your opinion, where do you think there’s room for improvement?” When people tell you what they aren’t getting, they are telling you what they want in a relationship.

8. They offer objections. We are often taught to treat them like objects being thrown at us, swatting them away or throwing something back. Wrong. Some might actually be concerns.

Instead: “Tell me more.” Draw them out. Learn what’s really bothering them.

9. Never promise results. You can’t get a client to their goals. It’s beyond your control. No one knows what interest rates, the stock market, taxes or the economy will do. You might help them make progress towards their goal, but you can’t get them there. What if they didn’t add additional money later they were supposed to contribute?

Instead: “Would you be interested in a strategy offering a greater potential for reaching your goals?”

10. You can’t fire friends. People close to you are often reluctant to do business because it puts the friendship at risk if things don’t work out. They want is an exit strategy.

Instead: “If you become my client, you should get a report card. If I’m not doing a good job, you should be able to fire me.” Your periodic portfolio reviews, measuring progress to goals or v. appropriate indexes are the report card.

Now they have an exit strategy, and it was your idea.

There are many tactful ways of getting your point across.

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc.  He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry.  His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor,” can be found on Amazon.

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