How to introduce your practice to prospects

By Morningstar |  13-04-21 | 
 

It’s hard. You feel like you should respond with a title or job description. But if you say you’re a financial adviser it stops the conversation. People have presumptions. Maybe they fear you will sell them something.

More than that, it doesn’t differentiate you. You want something to highlight what sets you apart, what’s special.

When we work with financial advisers, we show them how to develop a brand framework. It becomes the basis of marketing messages moving forward. But the script is much too long for a quick introduction.

Here’s how to boil it down.

Lead with the challenge your target client faces. Start with that particular obstacle you guide clients through. And the easiest way to get there is to begin your introduction with “you know how…?”

You know how people get all excited about retirement and then suddenly get paralyzed by all the decisions they have to make?

You know how parents of a special needs child struggle not just with their family’s needs but figuring out all the government programs that are supposed to help them?

You know how successful business owners can sell the daylights out of their companies’ products but discover they don’t know how to sell their company?

Approaching your introduction this way accomplishes a couple of things. It engages the listener. It’s the beginning of a story. It sidesteps their prejudgment about what you do. Starting with the question, even a rhetorical one, can help avoid the pigeonholing that everyone does to save mental energy.

It’s also unexpected. It breaks through distractions to get the listeners attention.

Most important, it enables you to describe the outcomes you help clients achieve. It’s better than describing what you do. What you do (like writing a financial plan) only has value in the context of what it leads to (creating a future, saving taxes, solving a problem, empowering clients).

Rather than talk about the activities you do day-to-day, talk about overcoming your client’s challenge to create an outcome – which challenges you know how to navigate and what outcomes you help produce set you apart.

Best of all, you don’t even need to describe the outcome. When you communicate how well you understand the challenge, you establish credibility. When people ask what you do, point to the problem as your work.

You know how people get all excited about retirement and then suddenly it paralyzed by all the decisions they have to make? I help them make the right choices.

You have parents of a special needs child struggle not just with their family’s needs but figuring out all the government programs that are supposed to help them? I help them get as much as they can qualify for.

You know how successful business owners can sell the daylights out of their companies’ products but discover they don’t know how to sell their company? I show them how.

You know how people who can explain what they do in a really interesting way seem to get into conversations easily? This is how they do it.

This post by Stephen Wershing originally appeared on The Client Driven Practice.

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