All Posts by Ronald Sier

1 What Most Financial Planners don’t Realize about Their Clients

Most people hire a financial planner because they have a problem. A problem that you have to solve for them. Many financial planners think that their client only wantw their advice. But your clients also have another problem. If you ignore that problem you’re missing a huge opportunity. Chances are that you don’t take this into account. You should. Because you can miss sales if you don’t.

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The Art of Asking

We live in a world were trust for financial services isn’t what it used to be. Since the start of the crisis in 2008 it’s only about bonusses, greed and abuse. Abuse of trust I mean by that. When people purchased a financial advice or product, we didn’t bother to tell what the costs were for our clients. So, in the mind of our clients advice is for free. While we were earning lots of money with commissions, kickbackfees and other untransparent revenues, people thought it was all for free. Now, times have changed. Commissions and kickbackfees are history. And people don’t trust us anymore. Now, we have to ask our clients for their money. So they will buy our advice (while at first people thought it was for free). That’s pretty difficult when people don’t trust us. So, how are you going to make people pay for your services while people don’t trust you? The answer is: you don’t make them, you let them. Watch this TEDtalk from Amanda Palmer, and you’ll see how you let people pay for your services.

1 Why Automation Changes The Role of The Financial Planner. And How You Can Benefit Because of That.

When I was a kid my parents gave me this advice: get good grades, go to college and pursue a profession that delivers a decent living. If you’re good at english and history, you should become a lawyer. And if you are good at numbers, become an accountant. Later I became a financial planner. I guess the numbers had something to do with that. And if I were to be successful in my profession as a financial planner, there was only one thing to do: get my CFP (or in Holland it’s the Master of Science grade). Professor Peter Drucker gave these professions a somewhat wanky name: knowledge workers. “Knowledge workers are people who get paid for putting to work what one learns in school rather than for their physical strength or manual skill”, according to Drucker. Compared to the time when I was a kid and today there has been a major change in the supply of knowledge and information. Which has an underestimated impact on the role of the financial planner. Continue reading

One Simple Reason Why You Want To Start The Conversation

When you’ve ever followed a training on your interview skills, one of the most heard techniques is that you should use open-end questions that encourage more than one-word answers. This gives people an opportunity to further explain themselves and adds color and texture to their personal story. And that gives you the opportunity to ask depth questions to come to know more of the goals of your client. Which is the basis of your financial plan. There’s just one problem you may encouter. When people meet you for the first time, they are mostly not eager to tell you their whole story. Why? They don’t trust you yet. Continue reading

Manipulation or Inspiration?

There is hardly any product or service on the market today that customers can’t buy from someone else for about the same price, about the same quality, about the same level of service and about the same features. So, how do you sell your service? You manipulate or inspire people. Now please, don’t get me wrong. Manipulations are just a good tactic to increase sales. In fact, almost everybody is doing it. Do you recognize that companies drop the price, run a promotion, using fear or peer pressure? I’ll bet you do. When companies don’t know how to inspire people they tend to rely on a disproportional number of manipulations to get what they need. And for good reason, manipulations work. But rarely the manipulation tactic turns to one stop shop customer into a loyal customer. Continue reading

How Does Your Client See You?

When we see things, we mostly assume that the way we see them is the way they really are or the way they should be. And because of that our behaviours grow out of those assumptions. The way we see things is the source of the way we think and the way we act. Let’s take you to an intellectual experience which helps you to understand how your client sees you as a financial planner. Take a few seconds and look al the picture in this blogpost. Take a good look.  Do you see a woman? How old would you say she is? What does she look like? What is she wearing? If you are like me when I saw this picture for the first time, you probably would describe the woman in the picture to be about 25 years old, lovely, fashionable and a small nose. But what if I were to tell you that you’re wrong?

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The Power of “AHA!”

One Sunday morning I was waiting at the subway in Amsterdam. People were sitting quietly – some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the the subway. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climat changed. The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people’s papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing. Continue reading

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