If you’re like most financial advisors:
- You’ve been in the industry for years.
- You want what’s best for your clients.
- You spend much of your time and energy on lead gen and sales.
Yet you feel a major disconnect between a large percentage of the prospects you engage with. (And even some of your newer clients, for that matter.)
It’s like they don’t understand what you’re saying.
Some of the words you say translate, but a lot of them produce raised eyebrows, blank stares, and trepid nods – you know the looks!
You think to yourself, what am I missing?
Why don’t I have a better close rate?
Do they not like my personality?
Believe me…you are NOT the only one asking yourself these questions.
The truth of the matter is that a lot of advisors are having trouble connecting with prospects in today’s market – especially younger prospects in their 20s, 30s, and even early 40s.
And while there can be any number of reasons for the lack of connection and/or poor close rates, there’s one issue that I notice over and over again:
We – meaning advisors – aren’t speaking the same language as our prospects/clients.
We’re immersed in a world of financial advisory where fiscal common sense and investing strategy are secondhand nature.
Most of our prospect pool lives in a world where low financial IQs are the standard.
So while all of your presentations, slides, and materials might look good – and contain quality information and insights – it’s possible that the “language barrier” between you and your clients is causing all of this information to fall on deaf ears.
Don’t worry – I’m about to help you uncover what’s really going on.
In this article, you’re going to discover:
- The 4 major stumbling blocks that cause people to struggle with $$$.
- The D.D.I. Triad framework for getting anyone on board with financial planning.
- How to convert more prospects into happy, long-term clients.
The concepts are simple, but it will take a little work on your end.
Let’s dig in.
The Struggle Box (Or the 4 Reasons People Fail With Money)
As an advisor, you eat, breathe, and sleep money. You’re constantly reading the news, listening to podcasts, following the latest market trend, and optimizing how you manage and invest money (both your clients’ and your own).
When you’re in this mindset, it’s easy to forget that the vast majority of people are actually REALLY terrible with money.
And worst of all, they don’t even know it!
But over the years, I’ve discovered the problem.
It comes down to 4 very specific reasons why people struggle with money. And if you want to convert more prospects into clients, you need to understand precisely what they are.
1. Lack of Formal Financial Education
By any measure, the United States is considered to be among the wealthiest nations in the world. But robust earnings don’t necessarily equate to high financial literacy.
Between 2009 and 2018, there was an 8% decline in the number of people who could answer basic financial literacy questions – from 42% to 34%.
Those in the 18-34 age range saw the sharpest decline. Just 17% of millennials have the ability to answer 4 out of 5 financial literacy questions correctly (down from 30% a decade ago).
This is problematic.
The primary way people learn money habits is from their parents. And they learned their habits from their parents. And so on and so forth.
The second way people learn money habits is from formal education. And in the vast majority of schools – high school or college – there are no classes on basic personal finance.
The third way people learn money is by observing what friends and colleagues do and replicating their decisions. (Herd mentality.)
Fourthly, people learn about money from what they see and read online.
If you take parents who don’t understand personal finance and mix that with a lack of education in schools, it’s no wonder people are bad at managing money.
And if you combine that with peers who are in the same boat, replicating poor financial decision-making starts to feel normal!
2. Emotional Relationship With Money
The emotional relationship with money is the second major reason people struggle to get their finances in order and create a long-term plan for success.
Money has different meanings and value to all of us, but it’s always tied to emotion.
We have a herd mentality when it comes to spending, saving, and investing.
Emotions cloud judgment.
And in times of great uncertainty – like TODAY – these emotions snowball.
Fears compound during stressful times and people make foolish decisions.
3. Poor Financial Advice
The financial education people miss out on in the home and school is picked up at the water cooler.
In 2020, that means social media, conversations with friends, neighborhood chit-chat, etc.
The problem with this is two-fold:
1. Money isn’t generally considered a culturally appropriate topic to discuss in public. So when it does get talked about, it’s usually in broad, generic terms.
2. Unfortunately, people tend to walk away from these casual conversations and take the information/advice as gospel truth.
So because people are uneducated with money, they soak up the information they can find – even when the information is erroneous and misguided.
4. Short-Term Mentality
Finally, people have EXTREMELY short-term focus.
Everyone wants to live for the moment.
Few are willing to SACRIFICE today, so that they can be SUCCESSFUL tomorrow.
And it’s this lack of long-term perspective that keeps people from thinking about their money in smart and disciplined ways.
Using the “D.D.I Triad” to Get Any Prospect On Board With Financial Advisory
So what do you do with these four MAJOR money struggles?
Well, you could go in any number of directions – but let’s not make this more complicated than it has to be.
I’ve seen numerous advisors use a simple 3-step process to consistently overcome these issues and help prospects speak the same language:
1. Dream Up the ‘Why’
Don’t get all technical in your first conversation or planning meeting with a new financial advisory prospect.
Focus on DREAMING.
Some advisors actually help people come up with a physical “Dream Board,” which is a collection of pictures and goals that they have for the future.
The key is to get the prospect to articulate their “why.”
Most advisors begin with the “how” and then briefly touch on the “why.”
Make sure you’re getting them in the correct order.
The “why” always drives the “how” – so start there.
Coming up with a dream board might feel a little weird at first – but it’s something highly successful people do. It also gives you transparent insight into how people think.
2. Determine the ‘How’
Okay, now we can look at the “how.”
This process isn’t as enjoyable as the dreaming exercise, but it’s equally important.
This stage is all about exposing a prospect to the different tools, services, people, and financial strategies/products that exist.
Use illustrations and analogies. Keep it simple yet informative!
When friction arises, remind them of their “why.”
3. Implement and Iterate
Armed with a “why” and a “how,” it’s time to implement a plan that bridges the gap between the two.
It’s up to you to work with the prospect (who is hopefully a client by now) to determine precisely which tactics they’re going to implement in order to start climbing the mountain.
And don’t forget about the other critical aspect of this step: iteration.
Your client’s goals will change. What a client wants when he’s 30 years old and single is going to be a lot different than what he wants when he’s 40, married, and has three kids.
Always iterate to great.
These are POWERFUL frameworks – but they’re based in COMMON SENSE.
That’s how you know they work!
Any time you see some complex strategy with lots of novel techniques and highly persuasive rhetoric, you should take them with a grain of salt.
The reality is that you’re dealing with humans on the other side of the table (or screen!).
And do you know what every human hates?
Being sold to.
Nobody likes feeling like someone is trying to persuade or coerce them.
Hard-nosed sales strategies rarely work. (And when they do, they usually fail to produce long-term clients.)
The best strategies – the ones we try to teach you here on the Advisorist blog – are rooted in common sense and basic human psychology.
And that’s precisely what this technique is all about.
Once you learn to speak the same language as your prospects, you’ll discover that sales becomes more of a conversation.
That, my friends, is when advisors start growing tiny boutiques into MASSIVE financial advisory practices.