The Shoplifting Story
You’ve probably heard me in the past talk about a book called ‘Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins’ by Annette Simmons. It was really designed for bosses to sell themselves to employees but anyone who is selling themselves should read this book. The author makes the point that we really need six stories. The most important one being the ‘Who I am’ story. because people don’t care what we know, they care about who we are. Can they trust us? The second most important story she mentions is the ‘Why am I here’ story. Why am I doing this?
Listen to this audio post or read the transcript below to learn why the ‘Why I am here’ story is so important when communicating with clients and to hear a very emotional story that an Advisor from Texas tells his prospective clients.
We’re objective people, our language is numbers. Objective people are very comfortable with numbers. But when you show a client numbers and charts, you’re saying there’s no need to trust me, you could trust the numbers and charts. You don’t want to do that because decisions are emotional. And the language of emotional thinking is storytelling.
So, here we are as objective financial advisors and talking to people about to make an emotional decision. The clients aren’t going to get objective, so you have to get emotional, you have to be on the same level.
Here’s a very emotional story that a Financial Advisor named Mike tells his prospects and clients when explaining why he does what he does. He says when he tells this story people want to do business with him. You need your own ‘why am I doing this’ story.
Mike is an Edward Jones broker in Texas. He used to work for H-E-B groceries, a very large chain in Texas. If you’re in Texas, you know the store. He was in the area management program. One night, he was closing a store and he got a call that said, “You better come to the front, somebody is shoplifting.”
It was an older woman, they waited until she got beyond the cash register and it was obvious that she was shoplifting, and they stopped her. They took her in a back room and she broke down crying. She was a 73-year-old woman. What had she shoplifted? A bar of soap and a bottle of aspirin. It broke his heart. And he tells people, “My goal is to make sure you never have to shoplift aspirin and soap.” It’s a great ‘Why am I here’ story. That’s what clients want to hear.
When mom and dad leave your office after the first meeting, they don’t talk about how you review accounts or your quarterly reviews. They don’t talk about asset allocation and downside capture. They ask each other one question: ‘Do you like him?’ ‘Do you trust her?’ And if the answer is no, you can talk until the cows come home, you’re not going to get the account. All mom and dad have to do is decide they like you and trust you, and think your solutions are right, and you will open the account. Come up with your own ‘why I’m doing this’ story.
Mike, that’s a great story. Thanks.
* This audio episode first appeared on Don Connelly 24/7 – a learning center for Financial Advisors with hundreds more audio and video podcasts that will help you develop superb soft skills for success.