People Are Deciding about You, Not the Numbers

Do Business with You - People Decide about You and Not numbers

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When you are trying to convince someone to do business with you, you must earn that person’s trust. When you use charts, graphs and numbers to make your point, you are asking the person to trust the numbers. Asking someone to trust the numbers is really saying there is no need to trust you.

Do not depend upon research, no matter how compelling, to do the whole job.

Put the laptop away and let the person get to know you. They are trying to decide about you, not the numbers. For the most part, prospects and clients are nor capable of breaking down the numbers. If they were capable of deciphering the numbers, they would be at E*TRADE.

Prior to the introduction of the computer, the most hi-tech device an Advisor had was the kitchen table.

Sitting around with a yellow pad and a pot of coffee was a bonding experience far more effective than a PowerPoint presentation. That part of our business is missing.

You are trying to get someone to trust you enough to act. Let the other guy dazzle them with an in-depth explanation of risk-adjusted performance based on William Sharpe’s theory. You listen with interest as they talk about their children.

Think back to that corner store when you were a kid. Remember the nice, warm feeling you got when you walked in to that store? The owner knew you, knew your siblings and knew your parents. That’s the feeling you need to re-create. That’s the feeling people miss.

I am not resisting change and I am not lamenting the passing of the good old days.

Rather, I am telling you that nostalgia makes people more optimistic about the future. It gives them confidence to move forward. And kitchen tables and pots of coffee are nostalgic. When nostalgic, people hark back to their youths, a time of more optimistic outlooks.

When you evoke nostalgia, you promote positive memories. You make people feel optimistic. And you certainly want your prospects and clients to feel optimistic. Optimistic people will feel better about themselves and about you.

Trusting you begins with liking you. Liking you begins with feeling optimistic about you.

The mood we all strive to create is “Sit back, relax and let’s chat. I am not going to try to sell you anything.” A kitchen is a lot more comfortable than an office, just like a small bookstore is a lot more comfortable than a crowded mall.

Where you see people is up to you.

That’s not the point I am trying to make. The point I am trying to make is that you are asking for good, old-fashioned trust and acceptance. You are not trying to wow folks. You’re trying to get to know one another better. You want your clients and prospects to feel you are one of them.

I don’t know how far nostalgia can turn the dial, but I do know that a nostalgic experience is better than an ordinary experience. And you want to be seen as anything but ordinary.

When people walk away after your presentation, they are not going to talk about convexity.

When Dad looks at Mom and asks, “What do you think?” he’s not asking about the numbers.

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  • Shane Klingenstein /

    AMEN! So many firms, including mine have strayed from “coffee & conversation”. How refreshing.

    • Diana Marinova /

      Thank you for you comment and feedback, Shane! We are glad you enjoyed the post – after all, we are people first and remembering it helps us be better at what we do 🙂


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