If you have studied hard to pass your CFP® exam and worked for years as a financial planner, and you might even have launched your financial planning service, but without the success you dreamed of, I’m sure you’ve been frustrated. I sure have, and I still am once in a while.
The worst part is that there doesn’t seem to be a straightforward explanation as to why you failed.
Once upon a time, before you learned to be more objective, you thought you were important and that people around you were important. Chances are you asked questions that made people uncomfortable. To protect you from a life of narcisstic, emotional waywardness, you were sent to school to learn how to be useful.
Not a single financial planner wants to scare his potential clients off when telling the story about their business. Yet, very few financial planners dare to really attract their clients with the real reason they are in business. But what if that reason is a story that makes you more believable, trustworthy and gets you more clients (and maybe even some raving fans)?
“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.
What would happen if, starting today, you had to begin selling your service or advice without the use of numbers, statistics or charts? Would you suffer paralysis by analysis? Let’s just pretend that this scenario did take place and ponder which alternative forms of presentation you would choose to use.
Picture this: a new client made an appointment with you and comes to see you in your office. So you think: “This client has a financial problem that I probably can solve.” You’re right. But be aware, your client has another problem first. He doesn’t know if he can trust you. So the question is: how do you let your client know that he can trust you, without you saying: “Don’t worry, you can trust me”.
In my previous blogpost (A Vision Of The Future of Financial Planning in the New Age) I explained why you have to master right brain thinking to succeed in the new relationship age. It’s necessary to complement our logic (left brain) reasoning by mastering 10 essential right brain aptitudes. Together these 10 aptitudes can help develop our profession this era demands.
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.