Why SMALL Changes in Your First Impression Ignite a BIG Impact on Your Financial-Planning-Prospects (Backed by Science)

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It’s okay. You can admit it.

When you ask yourself how many prospects you really have for your financial planning business, you mostly tell yourself an exaggerated story.

Why? Because the real answer might be embarrassing.

You keep meaning to work on getting more people interested in your financial planning service – and you’ve read plenty of tips on how to do it – but in truth, your prospect-list has barely changed.

Unfortunately, when different experts give you contrasting tips, you can struggle to know which tip to follow.

Fortunately, surefire, simple and scientifically proven shortcuts exist. And no one has probably told you about them.

Let’s talk about scientific proof first.

Scientists who studied the persuasion process have consistently revealed a simple, yet remarkable truth when it comes to effectively influencing others to do business with you. Here’s the secret right off the bat:

Often it’s the SMALLEST change that makes the BIGGEST difference for your success

A study by behavioral scientists shows that the difference-quantity depends on how much progress you make in the early stages.

I’ll explain by giving you an example.

In one study customers in a sushi restaurant were given a loyalty card and told that they would receive a free lunch for every 10 purchases they made.

There were two types of customers. One group that made little progress by buying one or two lunches. And another group who made lots of progress by buying six or seven lunches at once.

It turns out that customers who made a small amount of initial progress by buying lunch just for themselves, were twice as likely to return to the restaurant if they focused on the progress they made toward the free lunch.

However, those customers who made a lot of initial progress – perhaps because they bought lunch for themselves and a group of friends – were more likely to return if their attention was focused on the progress that remained to get the free lunch.

Why?

Because people tend to be more motivated to complete a goal when their focus is directed towards the SMALL area. Whether that SMALL area concerns the progress already made, or the effort that remains.

Let me repeat that, because it’s important:

People tend to be more motivated when their focus is directed towards the SMALL area

To prove this statement I recommend this cool 5-minute animation video from persuasion-master Dr. Robert Cialdini, where he tells vividly about the SMALLEST change that makes the BIGGEST difference:

And if you really want to dig in deep, here’s the link to the book: The Small Big: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence

So, I asked myself:

What’s the SMALLEST change financial planners can make, that has the BIGGEST impact on their number of prospects?

I’ll tell you about that in a minute. Because – although a bit painful – we have to acknowledge these 3 mistakes when it comes to attracting prospects.

Mistake #1: You’re telling your prospects about reaching their goals

Here’s a definition of a goal according to Wikipedia: “A goal is a desired result that a person envisions, plans and commits to achieve. A personal desired end-point in some sort of assumed development.”

Now, what do the words desired, envisions, plans, achieve, end-point, development all have in common?

Those words focus on the far, far future. They focus on the long-term, on the end.

And guess what you’ve learned a couple of sentences ago:

People tend to be more motivated when their focus is directed towards the SMALLEST step

That’s why, if you want to motivate your prospects, you shouldn’t focus on their goals at first. Because it’s way too big of a leap for them in this early phase of your relationship.

Mistake #2: You’re focussing your promise on a “comprehensive service”

What’s the opposite of SMALL?

Big. Wide. Extensive. Comprehensive.

That’s right.

And I hear you think: “But financial planning is all about an integrated view of people’s finances. Our service MUST be comprehensive!”

And I agree. Of course your service is comprehensive. It’s what we do. It’s what makes us unique. It’s how we can add the most value.

But try to stand in the shoes of people who don’t know you yet.

Do you think they understand? Or care?

No way. They haven’t got a clue about the value they get when they haven’t experienced it yet. That’s why you shouldn’t sell your prospects on your “comprehensive” service. It doesn’t motivate them.

Mistake #3: You’re giving too much information

Most planners believe that when prospects make decisions, they consider all the available information at their disposal and come to an informed decision about calling them for an appointment.

They believe that the best way to persuade them is to provide them with all the available information and a rational explanation for why they should check their financial planning service out.

Yet, 60 years of science proves that it’s not information per se that leads people to make decisions. What does, is the context in which information is presented.

You see, we are living in one of the most information-overloaded, stimulation-saturated environments that have ever existed.

People just don’t have the capacity to fully consider every piece of information in their time-scarce, attention-challenged, busy lives.

As a result, anyone can significantly increase their ability to influence and persuade others by not only attempting to inform people into change. But also by simply making SMALL shifts in their approach to link their message to deeply felt human motivations.

A SMALL change in the setting, framing, timing, or context of how information is conveyed can dramatically alter how it is received and acted upon.

small step

How to Fix Those Mistakes

There are two ways to fix those mistakes.

Here’s technique #1:

You might want to brainstorm about the SMALLEST change that helps you to get more prospects. And when you do, you might want to use these questions:

  • What SMALL changes in approach can help me to attract more prospects?
  • What SMALL shift in language can motivate others to do business with me?
  • What SMALL adjustment can I make to my website that makes it easier for prospects to contact me?
  • What SMALL change can I make to the way I frame my message, to appeal to more people?

Now, I understand that sometimes it can be really difficult to step out of your day to day struggles and think about the SMALLEST changes to your service with the goal to get more prospects.

That’s why I’m introducing technique #2:

You copy and paste the small steps I already used and tested.

These steps are proven and tested small steps that influence your prospects to say “YES”. The great news is that I’ve created a FREE PDF with the 3 Small and Research-Backed Steps that Stop your Prospect from Procrastinating to Do Business with You

The only thing you have to do is to answer this question:  What’s your SMALLEST problem you don’t seem to overcome, when it comes to selling your financial planning service to your ideal prospect?

Please, answer this question by leaving your comment – here below – and you’ll instantly receive a free PDF with the 3 Small and Research-Backed Steps that Stop your Prospect from Procrastinating to Do Business with You

Thank you for your comment.

Let’s make financial planning matter.

Ronald Sier

About the Author

My name is Ronald Sier, CFP®. I’m a financial planner and CEO of Smart Financial Planner. My goal is to empower financial planners like you to make financial planning matter by fulfilling your right-brain potential. Are you with me?

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