A Simple Story – Financial Advisor’s Best Friend

Simple Stories – Financial Advisor’s Best Friend

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“Who’s on first?”
“I don’t know.”
I Don’t Know’s on third.”

Being misunderstood may be funny in burlesque, but it’s not funny when you’re trying to make a living as a Financial Advisor. There is nothing more important to an Advisor than communicating clearly.

The safest and surest way to communicate in our business is to make your message as simple as possible, to make the unfamiliar familiar. Stories and analogies do that better than anything else. They allow you to make your point concisely and they make people feel comfortable.

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You know more about investing than the smartest architect in the world.

You understand the vagaries of volatility better than the world’s most gifted surgeon. And that’s precisely the point. You don’t simplify your speech for blue collar workers and high school graduates. You simplify your speech for everyone.

It’s both easy and normal to talk over someone’s head.

Every trained professional faces that problem. When you know a subject well, it’s hard to imagine that the person to whom you’re talking knows nothing about that subject. You give your audience too much credit. They end up telling you, “We’ve got to go home and think about it.” They are not going home to rethink their decision to educate their children. To retire or not retire is not their decision. Chances are they don’t know what to do because they didn’t understand your message.

Find a few stories and a few analogies that convey your point.

Practice them until you are comfortable telling them. When you make someone understand a difficult topic, that person feels smart. When you make people feel smart, they like you. The more they like you, the more you like them. Before you know it, a relationship has been formed.

The power of simple stories cannot be overstated.

In a recent blog post, Ben Settle pointed out that after the release of the movie ‘Top Gun,’ the sale of Ray-Ban Aviator glasses jumped forty percent; and Air Force and Navy recruitment saw a huge increase. That simple movie plot made military flying cool. It stirred up emotions. Isn’t that all you are trying to do? Decisions are emotional and it’s your job to stir the pot.

Telling simple stories will hopefully prevent you from meandering and falling into our industry trap of making an already difficult subject more difficult.

We’ve gone from dozens of mutual funds to hundreds of mutual funds to thousands of mutual funds. ETF’s have gone from something simple for clients to understand to a nightmare for anyone to understand.

In its perpetual quest for the perfect product, Wall Street has seemingly foiled itself again. An unnecessarily complicated message turns everyone off.

Simple stories are short stories.

They allow you to make your point in fewer words. People who talk too much run the risk of losing credibility. Think back to your last appointment. Who did most of the talking? If it was you, reverse that tendency.

Think back to the last time you made your point, but kept on talking anyway. Reverse that tendency. The burden is not on you to fill dead air.

Listen more, talk less. A simple story is your best friend.

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Hundreds of great stories, analogies and power phrases designed to help you communicate better with prospective and current clients


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