Every Financial Advisor Needs to Tell Great Stories
Human beings have an innate desire to tell and listen to stories. Good stories grab the attention and inspire people to act, which is why storytelling should be an essential tool in your armory. If you become a great storyteller, prospects and clients will leave your office remembering both you and your message.
Stories are also a great way to help make the unfamiliar familiar – they promote the understanding of complex issues. Plus, they’re effective at creating an emotional bond between storyteller and listener.
What’s the essence of a good story?
Stories don’t have to be long or detailed to be effective, neither do they need to be funny, unless this is your forte. There doesn’t even need to be a twist at the end. A simple narrative is enough to get your clients’ attention.
Firstly, decide what you want the takeaway to be. For example, do you want to get across that ‘investing is the right thing to do’? Or do you want to develop a story that explains market volatility in terms clients can understand?
Use people, places and problems as the key ingredients of your story – along with action on how to overcome these problems. As you develop your story, break down topics into word pictures.
Some stories to get you started
You don’t need to have an immense repertoire of stories. To start with, aim to have a handful of good stories at your command, ready to use in the appropriate situations. Here are five stories you can incorporate or adapt and use right away.
#1. Stories to explain volatility
Clients find the concept of market volatility difficult to grasp, often panicking at the first sign of a market downturn. In the post ‘what makes a story good’ you’ll find a great story to tell prospects when it comes to volatility. It’s actually an analogy (which is essentially a message wrapped in a short story) where the takeaway is that no one should attempt to reach their investment goals without seeking the support of a qualified advisor.
For more analogy ideas read “3 analogies on long-term investing” – they will help you get across that market volatility is a necessary part of the deal and that sticking with the plan is the right thing nonetheless.
#2. A story to help you talk about fees
If a prospect or client decides to focus on fees, tell them the Springfield story. It will help you emphasize your worth.
The takeaway of the story is that, just as there are no bargains when it comes to parachutes and brain surgery, neither is there a cheap ticket to financial advice. Your service is invaluable because it is specifically tailored to help people achieve their life’s goals, and that is priceless.
#3. A ‘who I am’ story
Telling prospects a good ‘who I am’ story will help you differentiate yourself from the competition. It will demonstrate that you are likeable and trustworthy – the two traits that will make people want to do business with you.
Base your story on personal experiences – put yourself on the line and don’t be afraid to show vulnerability. By revealing your human side, you will create empathy with prospects. Read this post to learn the key components of a “who I am” story and how to tell it to prospects and clients.
#4. A story to help you establish trust
When you meet with prospects for the first time they will naturally be wary of you. They’ll be wondering if you’re there to do them good or just want to sell them something they don’t need.
Overcome their concerns by telling them why you became a financial advisor in the first place. Get across that you love your job because you love helping people – in fact that’s what drew you to this career.
Check out this post for story ideas to help you come across as likeable and establish trust.
#5. A story to help you get clients off the fence
Create a sense of urgency using a story. Convey that now’s the time to invest by using an analogy that will get people thinking seriously about the need to invest.
To help prospects see how much money they will need, encourage them to compare the cost of a year at college for their child with the cost of a new car today. Or use an analogy that illustrates how they only have a short time left to save for retirement. Check out this post for more stories that can help get clients to act.
Storytelling is a skill you can acquire over time
If you don’t feel you’re a natural raconteur, there’s no need to despair because with a little insight and a lot of practice you can learn how to tell great stories.
Use your friends and families as sounding boards. Then collect your stories and practice them so you can weave them effortlessly into a conversation. You may not become a great storyteller overnight but be assured, if you persevere, you will find it less awkward and eventually telling stories will become second nature.
Watch this one-minute video how Don Connelly 24/7 can help you hone your storytelling skills.
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