Here’s a short story that seems to have nothing to do with financial planning (but it does).
Imagine Bob Lutz.
He’s the former CEO of General Motors.
Bob is not the artsy-fartsy kind of guy. He looks and acts like a marine, which he once was. He smokes cigars. He flies his plane. He once said that global warming was a myth, peddled by the environmental movement.
But when the New York Times asked him about how his approach would differ from his predecessors at the time he started as a CEO at GM, here’s how he responded:
Are you afraid of the digital revolution? Are you afraid of the ongoing innovations in our financial planning business? Are you afraid you can’t keep up? Are you afraid your client doesn’t recognize the value you deliver? Are you afraid you will not have a reason to exist?
It has become obvious, in retrospect, that organisations with superb knowledge economy credentials – companies such as Microsoft, General Motors and big Wealth Management Companies, for example –weathered the global economic crisis little better than companies based on the industrial age economics they superseded.
There are a million and one financial planners, advisors, wealth managers or online solutions on the market. The market is so saturated, so why bother launching yet another one?
Before answering this question, let’s go back in time. Where we lived in a world with limited choices and big companies could afford to cast the net wide across the masses. No depth required.
Do you think this tactic works now that the masses have the power to choose? Where people have the choice to visit your competitor with two swipes? The market of everyone has disappeared and that’s scary for big companies.
Before I’ll tell you what a PSNIOR is, I’d like to tell you a short story about a flea trainer. Because a financial planner can be as successful as a flea trainer. Successful as in meaningful, happy and satisfied. I’m serious.
Let me tell you a short story before we go in depth. It’s about the new reality of a car salesman. Traditionally, many car dealerships are based on a simple idea: they know more about cars and pricing and profit than the customer does. By leveraging the information advantage, they can sell cars at a higher markup, upsell add ons, etc.
But what happens when the customers know more then they do, when potential customers know about every option, the inventory at every dealer, etc?
This is going to happen to every business, every sector, every level. Also to our financial planning business. When information is set free, does it help you or hurt you?
What if you can save at least 60 minutes worth of explanation, reasoning, justification, comparison and analysis in your client interviews? I believe that in the financial planning business there is still a traditional reasoning-centered approach to selling the service. It’s not strange. Most advisors don’t know about the possibilities of right brain selling. I didn’t for 11 years although I continually studied during this period. Are you still using the traditional approach and therefore missing chances to engage, connect and sell more?Continue reading
“I believe that financial planners will be more successful when using their right brain potential”. Actually it’s strange for me to say. I’ve always been a typical left brainer for years. Good at maths, very rational and successful with study. And always focussing on building knowledge. Because when I finished a study I could say that I achieved something. And that’s very tangible. That’s great, because left-brainers love it when it’s tangible.
I also thought that with this knowledge I could help my clients the most. But after reading Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start with Why’ about three years ago, my perspective changed. The book gave me the urge to search myWHY. And I discovered something I never knew before. Since ‘Start with Why’ I’ve read many, many other business books and found out that almost every successful and innovative influencers (like Seth Godin, Robert Cialdini, Anthony Robbins & Daniel Pink) wrote about the power of the right brain. Since then I can’t stop reading and researching about it. And more important: I’ve applied it in my financial planning profession.
Now, my goal is to inspire other financial planners to believe in their right brain potential. I believe in the importance of the financial planner. Financial planners are by definition highly educated. They have the ambition to reach for the best. And more important: they truly want to help people. Not by selling products. But to give real advice based on what their clients really want. Because financial planners have these strong ambition and are almost always smart people I know financial planners have this right brain potential. When using it right, it’s going to build more profitable and enduring relationships.
To prove it to you I’m not going to tell you a story, influence you with a metaphor or let you see the big picture. In other words, I’m not appealing to your right brain. To show you that what I believe is true, I’m going to appeal to your left brain in this article. Because I know your left brain asks you to rationalize your choice to work on your right brain potential. And therefore it needs facts and numbers. So please take a look at the picture below.