Learn to Be a Great Storyteller
Weaving a spellbinding story is an acquired skill. You can do it. Like everything you’ve ever achieved in life, your proficiency will depend upon how badly you want to succeed. Effective storytelling will set you apart from 99% of all Financial Advisors.
Listen to this audio episode or read the transcript below to learn why and how to become a great storyteller.
Most Advisors rely upon facts and logic to persuade people to become clients. Unfortunately for them, they rely on facts and logic from the beginning of the process to the end. Deciding to open an account is an emotional decision. Top Advisors succeed because they weave narrative among the facts and it is the narrative which appeals to the client’s emotions.
You certainly need the facts, but persuasion occurs at the emotional level. The language of objective thinking is numbers. Emotions are subjective and the language of subjective thinking is storytelling.
In other words, stories move people. Numbers don’t.
Data by itself is overwhelming. Use the facts to support your story.
Filmmaker Andrew Stanton says that telling a story is like telling a joke. Take your time. Know your punch line. Know your ending. Everything you say is leading to that ending. Make that ending clear. A good story, like a good joke, will connect you and the listener.
A major step to becoming a great storyteller is to listen very carefully to what your client tells you.
You must make sure your stories address problems your clients want to solve.
Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Now, as Steve Tobak of CBS’ Money Watch suggests, answer three questions: What’s in it for them, why should they care and what criteria will they use to determine if your ideas are any good?
Tell stories that reflect your personal beliefs, stories you really want to tell. Clients are real people, too, just like you. Your stories will resonate with them on a personal level.
Pretend you are a lawyer persuading a jury. Get your facts straight and your story down, but don’t pretend that you are smarter than you really are.
Don’t memorize your story and don’t try to make it perfect. Be brief. Use vivid details. Don’t rant. Use analogies and metaphors. And practice. We all get good at something with practice.
When it’s your turn to talk, the most important story you can tell is your story.
Who are you? When I conduct storytelling workshops, this is where I focus. This is where you should focus. This is the story people want to hear. They neither are concerned with Morgan Stanley versus Merrill Lynch nor LPL versus FSC. They want to know what you stand for.
What are your values? If folks are going to entrust you with their life savings, they are not concerned with asset allocation. They are concerned about you. Tell the story of you. Tell it briefly and tell it with vivid detail. They’re not deciding about investments. They’re deciding about you.