How to Develop Your ‘Who I am Story’
To succeed as a financial advisor you need to find a compelling method of differentiating yourself from the competition. To get to the top you need to stand out as being likeable and trustworthy so that clients will want to do business with you. A great way to build rapport with clients is to tell stories and in particular, you should spend some time developing a ‘who I am story’.
Use stories from your own personal experience to illustrate why people should trust you and to demonstrate that you care. Once you’ve developed your ‘who I am story’ you can use it to create trust from strangers and strengthen existing relationships.
As you set out on this task, please take the time to read Annette Simmons’ book entitled Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins.
What kind of stories should you tell?
Everyone has a story. Your personal stories are based on the experiences that have helped to make you who you are, both personally and professionally. And, while it can be tough to share personal stories – maybe they make you feel vulnerable – these are the most powerful kinds of stories you have at your command.
Your ‘who I am story’ can help you connect emotionally with prospective and existing clients and allow them to get to know the real you. By sharing stories that tell them ‘who you are’ you are putting yourself on the line and showcasing your authenticity and spirit.
Think about your life experiences, the lessons you’ve learned, your tragedies and triumphs. Include components that everyone can relate to. Specify what resulted in you deciding to pursue a career as a financial advisor – did you once see a family member struggling with their finances or suffer after receiving bad financial advice? Is that why you decided to develop skills that set you apart from other advisors, so you could become the best at helping people create a secure financial future?
Decide what you want the message of your story to be, what you want your listeners to take away. The takeaway could be that you are the most caring advisor there is.
How to tell your story
Most charismatic traits are verbal, so to get people to find you charming and interesting you need to tell your story in the right way. Vary the volume of your voice. Vary your tempo of speech. Show animation. Express emotion to become a good storyteller. Facial expressions are important too, as is eye contact. Nod, smile and encourage clients to talk to you. Support communication visually and use gestures to reinforce the message.
Invoke history. Use repetition and humor – but don’t tell jokes if you aren’t a good joke teller. You could incorporate a parable – these have been used since biblical times to enable us to draw on the wise experience of our ancestors. “Out of the frying pan into the fire” is a phrase we remember because it illustrates an important truth in just a few words. Use power phrases and witty remarks.
These are just a few tips for ways you can make your story more compelling. There are plenty more.
Great storytelling tactics will enable you to be more influential. Create a great ‘who I am’ story that illustrates your moral conviction and you will move people to action. Practice and perfect your story. It won’t happen overnight, but if you practice your story until you are word perfect, and tell it with passion you will win friends and influence people. Keep your story short, though. Always put the focus on your clients rather than monopolizing the conversation.
There is a storytelling section in Don Connelly 24/7 learning center – watch the intro video below.
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