How to Influence Your Client’s Decision and Ignite Almost Always a Great Start of the Relationship

Many financial planners act as if they cannot be trusted. Because they only appeal to the left side of the client’s brain. Are you this kind of financial planner? Check this article if you are.

People seek to do business with individuals they trust and have a good feeling about. So the question is: how can you engage your client? The answer to this question can be found in the brain of your client. Maybe you know that the brain has a left and a right side. The left side is where the logic, number crunching and rationale are. While the right side of the brain is about emotions, visualizing and connection.

The right side of the brain is also in charge of risk and decision. This side of your brain is not looking at credentials; it’s observing body language. It is nog caught up in you impressive recitation of facts and figures in your financial plan; it’s reading between the lines. The right side of the brain is putting together what it observes in your eyes, your mannerisms, your tone and demeanor and is going to render an intuïtive verdict that clients will follow even without logical reasons. “I just have a feeling”, people will tell you. And they usually follow that feeling or are haunted by ignoring its ominous voice.

How can you make sure that people get the right feeling about you?

Learn to read and trust the intuïtive sirens and caution lights you pick up in your client presentations. And pay careful attention to the impression you are giving others. Also possess the humility to ask other how you are doing and how you can improve.

It doesn’t seem to matter what sort of decision we are making – a purchase, a career, a move or a negotiation – we all instinctively rely on this gut feeling for guidance. Logic and rationale, although held in the highest esteem in our society, are not the trusted linchpins of our most important decisions. In fact, we almost always seem to make decisions based on our gut feelings and then align the necessary logic behind that feeling. The intuïtive gut feeling is the engine of the decision train and logic and rationale are the cars it pulls behind.

Yet in many of our presentations to clients we spend too much time filling the rationale boxcars with facts and figures and not enough time trying to influence the engine that pulls the train: the gut feeling. A powerful presentation or financial plan first influences the emotion that drives the decision and then adds logic as the client asks for it.

Recognize this simple fact: Buying decisions hinge more on feeling that they do on fact. Even when this decision is about important wealth issues. Does this mean your client ignores the facts? Absolutely not. The facts simply become a part of the story, but not the story. Facts and numbers alone make for a dull story simply because they appeal largely to the side of our brain that acts like a computer. You want to appeal to this side to a degree, but to get to a decision you need to appeal to the side of the brain that acts like a movie screen. You want to ignite belief, trust, assurance, hope and even passion for the ideas and advice you are selling.

Why not first focus on getting the right feelings across. Right feelings lead to positive perceptions and positive perceptions are the reason people buy and any service from you as a financial planner. You must focus on influencing how clients feel to become a successful presenter.

How great relationships start

Now think how great relationships start. Think about the beginning of the relationship with your spouse. Did you fell in love because it was logic to fall in love? Or was it just a feeling you had? Guess it’s obvious right?

If you want to know more about how to influence the right brain of your clients, you’ll receive the 17 left and right brain views of the world. In this PDF you’ll find the clues necessary to effectively speak the language of the right brain and influence your client’s decisions. All you have to do is to answer this question:

What is your biggest problem in persuading your client to do business with you?

Please, leave your answer here below in the comment field. You’ll receive the 17 left and right brain views of the world.

To your success,

Ronald Sier

If you don’t want to miss the next tip to Advance Your Client Relationships then please fill in the boxes below and click.


Leave a Reply 41 comments

Rutvij Reply

Fee based advisory service.

Marcus - new to industry Reply

Getting past the negative image portrayed by the media and the fact that I am “unknown” to them , ie. How to gain their trust? and then how to motivate the prospect to make a commitment that justifies my time to do the best that I can for them.

Johann Maree Reply

my biggest problem is when clients cannot make a decision and the procrastinate over the next step

John Reply

People getting a little information and then thinking they can do it themselves

Martyn Green Reply

Hi Ronald

Great article as always!

Getting clients to sometimes see the urgency in taking action .

Shrikala Jammalamadaka Reply

I have to tackle the issue of trust. My clients are not really convinced, rather they start pushing when trying to convince. Furthermore, though i state good argues pro, clients still worry about: Does this really work out this way, or are there any hidden traps, which the consultant does not let me know. They always think that i do hide important argues against. It is difficult for me to have the client show up with their beliefs and objections, so as to clarify it.

dan Reply

how to influence to get an appointment?

Charu Reply

why do you charge high fee?

Eric B. Soiland Reply

I don\’t go for a hard close, I give them time to think about it. Sometimes they take a very long time to come on board.

JR Reply

The biggest obstacle is the focus on what I (we) believe to be what the clients needs – rather that what the client wants. Speaks to the right/left brain dynamic.

Yvonne Reply

Clients are overwhelmed and afraid of all the details and the actions required from them to implement – getting the client to commit and take action after the action plan – it takes time and incredible effort on the part of the financial planner – even in preparation – but this is frustrating as I cannot control the end result for the client – I find clients commit to some of the actions – seldom all – the latter takes the test of time…. I often then have to reformulate outcome if only some action of what is agreed is implemented – the upside of this is that this then helps me to show the client what is really important at that moment – the rest is the wants – I try never to loose focus of those and always bring it back into the review where we also revisit and monitor actions taken and still to be implemented – eventually this brings the success of full conversion without question or reservation … That\’s when I sigh and appreciate the value of a job well done – the parts coming together, the synergy of helping a client be the best they can be!

Kimble Johnson Reply

The symptom of my biggest problem is client inertia. I suspect the cause is that I can\’t stop talking.

Marc Reply

Biggest problems are:
– advice fee
– subsequently instill the motivation and desire in the client to implement the advice given. A lot of time, the client prefers to stay in the status quo and do nothing rather than implement the advice presented.

Enes Reply

I am new to the industry and am working towards becoming a certified financial advisor. I am 24 years of age and have been surveying my potential market and have realised that people my age tend to be stubborn and don\’t understand the importance of financial advice and managing their money.

I love your tips Ronald, they are very insightful.

Jay Reply

Problem: getting clients to open up about all of their assets & then to accept advice without seeing how things go for a bit longer….

Fred White Reply

My biggest problem is getting people to listen long enough to initiate a meaningful discussion that might lead to an engagement.

Herko Reply

Hi Ronald, my biggest problem is making clear to my clients why it is in their interest to make a financial planning. It\’s hard working making it clear that a good planning saves money instead of costs money. Using metafoors (like yours of sir Edmund Hillary)is a help in this.

Katia Reply

My biggest issue is procrastination. \”It\’s a good idea, I will think about it…\”

Sean Reply

My biggest issue is getting the client to understand that they have a need for advice and providing them with awareness that there are better ways to manage their money.

Rick Reply

What is your biggest problem in persuading your client to do business with you?
Helping them to reveal the area where they feel they need help – getting to the core issue that brought them to me in the first place.

Mike Reply

My biggest problem is in identifying the pain point.

Sean Reply

I place too much emphasis on numbers and almost ignore the who….it\’s made it harder than it had to be.

William Offen Reply

Having recently changed markets – 5 years in a typical savers market to one of almost a retired market, my problems rest in the areas of availability of product – in other words, I find it difficult to find the right solution, let alone convince my clients.

My solution is to study the market more because I think is more my lack than anything else!

I am very much right brained but in this situation I need to think more left brain so I can work with some facts to get the correct solutions.

Justin Reply

Getting potential clients to make decision.

Chris Reply

Biggest problem will be creating urgency to act. I can educate my prospects (primarily Gen X & Y) as to the benefits of my company\’s service, but struggling to get them to take action.

Andy Reply

Biggest issue is getting them to change their status quo when they appear to be either (1) satisfied with their current situation (2) thinking that financial advice can be easily done DIY (3) the procrastinators who think that tmrw is always a better day to make a financial decision

    Ronald Sier Reply

    Thank you very much Andy. When I summarize your answer I think you biggest problem is procrastination of your (potential) clients. Because I don\’t have enough information I can\’t give you an adequate answer but maybe these questions will help you:
    – Who are your ideal clients, do these type of people fall in this categorie?
    – What does your business make your clients feel about themselves?
    – How do you want your clients to feel about your business?

    I know, these questions are a bit fuzzy, and I have a reason for that. To make your clients actionable, you want to appeal to what people WANT. And when you can make you clients feel great about themselves (because f.e. you give meaning, status or hope with your business) it would be a first step to get people to take action.


Larry Klein Reply

This post is RIGHT ON. People buy emotionally. Get their commitment FIRST, then explain the logic of the investment and the details.

Paul Reply

My biggest problem occurs when clients say they don\’t have a need.

    Ronald Sier Reply

    Thanks for your reply Paul. To be honest with you: I think that almost everyone don\’t know what they need. And I believe it\’s also almost impossible te create a need. Only Steve Jobs can do that. That\’s why you don\’t want to focus on what people need, but what people WANT. With the right open-end questions you can focus on what\’s important to your clients. Questions like: What\’s important about your assets to you? And when they say: the return on my assets, ask: What do you want to achieve with that? And try to ask in depth questions so you\’ll get all the answers you need to give a solid advice. Hope this helps Paul.

Marti Reply

— Overcoming barriers to build trust
— Helping prospects see the value of financial planning when so much of what we do appears intangible

    Ronald Sier Reply

    Thank you Marti. I hope this weeks article helps you with some insights to overcome your problems.


Ernie Vorpahl Reply

I\’ve always been VERY left brain about everything. It wasn\’t until recently where I decided to take the time to learn why many clients or prospective clients would not take such logical recommendations. Thanks forthe insight!

Matt Reply

Biggest challenge is getting the prospect or client to feel motivated enough to make a change from their current situation after compelling evidence (left brain) has been presented . We all know humans are naturally hesitant to change even in the face of overwhelming facts, etc. which makes proving the change is worth the effort even more difficult.

    Larry Klein Reply

    There are 2 parts to getting a client to change:
    1. showing a better alternative (the pull) which as you say is showing some good options and
    2. UNSELLING his current investments ( the push) and very few advisors do this step. If there is no pain, the client wont change. I have a video of this process somewhere and if Ron emails me that he would like me to put it online and make it available, I will do so.


My challenge is convincing he/she about the fees I charge and why it is worth it. For example 2 years ago one of my new client was trying my services compared to her existing financial planner, within this period I have proven to her both in terms of locking in profit and asset allocation which she was reluctant, but when ever she wants to consider top up she always takes about the fee. I guess there are always certain type of client who choose not to see the value but very calculative. What is your professional comment?

    Ronald Sier Reply

    Thanks for your comment Gunasegaran.
    It\’s true what you\’re saying about \’the calculative\’ type of person. A typical left-brainer. What I would do is to try to make this a positive situation. Try asking the following question: \”When will you top up?\” The idea is to let your client think why he does have to top up. Because then he\’ll imagine why it\’s beneficial for him to do so. After he has explained it, please close the deal. For example say:\”OK, let\’s take care of it\”. This feels really unnatural to do! And it takes some \’guts\’ to do it. But as I will explain in my following article this week, people WANT to be influenced. So please, try it. It works.


Aloys Harmsen Reply

I try to make the translation process in the financial report to our clients with the facts and figures are subject to the actual deeper desires. Your useful tips requires a shift in thinking from both hemispheres but certainly interesting to go further in dept.

Harshavardhan Bhusari Reply

The biggest problems are-
-Making him believe that I will provide an unbiased view on personal finance.
– Asking and convincing him about the fees a I charge and why it is worth it.
-Even if the client understands that Financial Planning is extremely beneficial, hesitation and procrastination ruins the decision making skill.

    Ronald Sier Reply

    Thank you Harsha. The problems you encouter are the ones I also have encoutered myself many times. And yes, it\’s difficult to cope with. But I have learned to embrace the objections of the client. You see, actually your client is saying:

    \”Yes, I would like to do business with you, but I don\’t know if you provide an unbiased view\”, or

    \”Yes, I would like to do business with you, but I don\’t know if you are worth it\”.

    You see, when a client doesn\’t have objections, he is most certainly not going to do business with you because he is not interested. Think of it. When you buy a new car and you don\’t ask about things like guarantee or the price, you are not interested. The same goes for financial planning. A client must have objections, because only then he\’s truly interested.
    Hope this helps. In the next weeks I\’ll share an article on this subject.


Leave a Reply: