Messages that stick often lead to more significant wins.
Creating unforgettable presentations is especially true in the advisory practice where prospects choose to delay making decisions.
The more memorable your scripts or templates are, the greater the chance they’ll call back.
But how can you make your messages stick better?
Financial advisors have their go-to pitches.
Some try to evoke emotions and highlight family or loved ones.
Others keep it short and simple.
While others merely rely on their reputation as prominent advisors or authoritative figures in the industry.
No matter the style, proven marketing techniques increase your chances of success.
In The New York Times Bestselling Book, Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath summarize these strategies with the acronym SUCCES — Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Stories.
Each factor helps. But having all of them makes your message unforgettable. What follows are some ways to incorporate these tactics as a Virtual Financial Advisor™.
Simple statements are easier to remember. As a financial advisor, it is your job to simplify the message and avoid jargon.
We are often victims of the curse of knowledge — a cognitive bias that occurs when we think everyone has the knowledge and ability to understand our message.
Creating with this bias can lead to complex, and ultimately forgettable, messages.
One way to simplify difficult topics is to use analogies or metaphors. So instead of saying, “it is risky to pick highly correlating assets,” we should say, “don’t put your eggs in one basket” — or maybe something less cliché.
When preparing your pitch, try to share something unexpected, like an incredible statistic on the performance of an asset or the industry. Surprising information stands out and is easier to remember.
Or what about making your business tax presentation more about the client’s travel goals? (More on this later when we talk about Emotions.)
But more than presenting unexpected data, it is good to take an unexpected approach altogether. When people know you as a financial advisor, they might expect hard sell tactics.
This expectation is an unfortunate reality. So, why not spice it up?
Have quick 15-minute coffee chats instead, with no commitments to close anything. And be genuine about not trying to sell anything.
These conversations are about knowing the person. They may or may not become your clients, and that is okay.
Sometimes these talks are more for connecting and learning how to help them. Maybe you link two prospects who end up doing business together?
The possibilities are limitless. Plus, the unexpected approach makes your overarching messages more memorable.
Concrete examples are those that people can sense.
Try to make your statements represent actual data rather than be abstract generalities. “Pay 20% less in taxes” is so much more effective than “Decrease your tax liabilities.”
Ideas that the audience can sense are easier to recall because people relate to them. It’s similar to how children learn math when we provide concrete examples. Rather than saying “What’s 1 + 1?” we ask, “If David has one apple and a friend gives him another apple, how many apples does David have?”
More established financial advisors deliver messages with more credibility. There’s no way around it. People believe them more, so their messages stick more. But if you’re a relatively new advisor, how do you deal with this conundrum?
There are ways we can approach this.
One is to reference known figures. Benjamin Franklin once said: “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”
Most people believe this is true because of Benjamin Franklin’s credibility — not to mention this example is also Concrete. In other words, providing statistics — i.e. concrete information — adds credibility to your messages.
But another way is to accept your standing as a new advisor and strive to compromise in other areas.
Be honest and accountable, and always show respect.
These are powerful ways you can eventually earn credibility in the industry.
Tapping into a prospect’s emotions is a reliable way to make your message stick, so consider what they care about.
Saying you’ll help someone save for retirement isn’t nearly as powerful as identifying how they want to spend their retirement.
Do they care about spending time with grandchildren?
Traveling the world?
Having time to serve in a charity they’re passionate about?
Understand what they care about on an emotional level and use that to guide your language.
Be careful with this one, though, as emotions can go both positively or negatively.
Positive emotions include happiness and excitement. Negative ones are those that elicit anger and frustration.
Both positive and negative emotions help create memorable presentations.
To be clear, being careful doesn’t mean avoiding negative emotions. Some would argue that negative emotions last longer. But again, when you go this route, tread carefully.
Another emotion you may want to be conscious of is contentment. Contentment supports the status quo. So, depending on your relationship with the client, this may be an advantageous or disadvantageous reaction.
As humans, we are hardwired to remember stories. It is part of our evolution. We may even be the only species capable of remembering stories, so storylines are probably what makes us humans.
Telling great stories is a skill, and some people are naturally better storytellers than others. But as with any skill, practice and persistence make you better at it.
Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time, once got cut from his high school varsity team. Through hard work and perseverance, Jordan made his team the next year and became the “GOAT” (the Greatest of All-Time). That’s a story.
Or how about the story of KFC’s Colonel Harland Sanders? Yes, KFC is one of the largest fast-food brands in the world. But his recipe was rejected thousands of times before it became what it is now. That’s another story for you.
(Check out The Navigator Method for a really effective analogy/story you can use with your clients.)
Learn to leverage stories and your marketing will soar.
Achieving SUCCESS With Memorable Messaging
For the Virtual Financial Advisor™, creating messaging prospects remember is invaluable. If you can pack a simple, unexpected, concrete, and credible message into a relatable story, then you are one step closer to creating an indelible mark with your prospects. And that is key to a successful practice.
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