For financial advisors, one of the main challenges of the initial meeting with a prospective client is demonstrating the value of financial advice – and showing the prospect how they would benefit from becoming a client. But it isn’t always easy for advisors to articulate this value in a way that resonates with the prospect. Because even though the advisor might be able to name several ways in which they could help the client – like professional investment of the client’s investments, behavioral coaching, and retirement planning – it’s possible that none of these will seem relevant to the prospect’s immediate problems.
Much of the research on quantifying the value of financial advice has revolved around the benefits to clients’ investment portfolios, but investment management is not always the highest priority for prospects (nor is it always the main component of an advisor’s services), so advisors often focus on other, less tangible benefits (like behavioral coaching) when explaining their value. However, even though clients of financial advisors often do value these intangible benefits – as research studies have shown – they ironically tend to recognize that value only after they become a client, meaning that many intangible benefits don’t actually tend to make great selling points with prospects either!
A better way for advisors to demonstrate their value might be to first ask the prospect what has caused them to reach out to hire a financial advisor at this particular moment during their first meeting. The “Why now?” approach identifies important nuances around the prospect’s specific pain points, which helps the advisor understand their deeper concerns beyond a generic need for financial advice. And having identified those concerns, the advisor can better understand what the prospect really values – and can subsequently tailor their own value proposition in a way that truly resonates with the prospect.
Another benefit of the “Why now?” approach is that it sets the stage for good follow-up questions. By inviting the prospect to go deeper into how they might be struggling with whatever prompted them to reach out, the advisor can let the prospect articulate – in their own words – why they need financial advice, and how the advisor can help them resolve their immediate pain points. Which means that, rather than the advisor having to guess at what the prospect might value, asking “Why now?” gives them the answer – while reinforcing to the prospect why reaching out was important to them to begin with!
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that every prospect has (at least) one reason for reaching out, and that there are unique ways they can benefit from the advisor’s services. By identifying those reasons, understanding how the prospect wants to be helped, and clarifying the urgency that prompted the prospect to make contact in the first place, the advisor can personalize their response by articulating their value in a way that will resonate with the prospect and that connects to solving their problems (all while affirming the prospect’s reason for being there in the first place)!Read More...