Remember story time in kindergarten or pre-K, or at your local public library?
What types of stories resonated most with you?
No matter what your answer is, I’m guessing it has nothing to do with stock-selection strategies, asset allocation models, or RIA performance history.
While this subject matter is indeed important for communicating a financial advisor’s differentiators to existing and prospective clients, numbers and charts can be dull or confusing if they are presented in a straightforward, passionless and impersonal manner.
To make their story resonate with clients and prospects, advisors need to show the value they create within the context of an individual client’s narrative. When advisors take the time to understand a client’s motivations, outlook and goals, and what they want to achieve for themselves and their families, they can present their expertise, services and added value in a way that will resonate on a deeper, emotional level.
Clients choose to work with a financial advisor because they want to make more money — but as the saying goes, money isn’t everything. There’s an underlying reason, or reasons, why a client wants to improve investment outcomes and enlarge their nest egg. A 55-year-old single schoolteacher nearing retirement may want to save up enough to move down to Florida in a few years. A 38-year-old accountant expecting a second child may want to move their growing family into a new house, and ensure they will have enough to eventually send both kids, and possibly more, to college. An elderly couple may want to make sure they can cover pre-planned funeral expenses, provide for their children and grandchildren, and create a legacy in their communities through philanthropic giving.
No matter what a client’s motivation and life circumstances happen to be, something is driving them to want to work with an advisor — and this is the central theme around which financial plans should be built, and presented, in order to elevate the advisor-client relationship and convert more prospects.