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Authenticity and Conviction

Last week we led a workshop at the Financial Planning Association’s annual conference on the topic of Telling Your Story with Authenticity and Conviction. It seems that many advisors and planners struggle with what to say when someone asks about what they do. Perhaps you do, as well.

We began with the story of one of our clients. Keith and the other two advisors in his practice were invited to an open house at a local law firm where he struck up a conversation with one of the attorneys. She asked him this question, “Tell me, Keith, how are you different from all the other advisors in our area?”

Keith’s response was terrific. He said, “I am so glad you asked me this question, because we are different from other advisors around here, in 3 specific ways. Let me tell you what they are….” He went on to explain his team’s 3 differentiators. When he said, “I am so glad you asked me this question…,” you could sense his preparation and confidence.

Keith was ready! His response was prepared; he knew what he wanted to say. He easily pivoted the question from talking about himself to describing his team. He numbered his differentiators to emphasize them and make them more memorable. This is what confidence sounds like, and it wasn’t all that hard.

So why is it that so many advisors stumble, or come across less than effective when someone asks about their work?

And yet, there are many advisors & planners out there that do an amazing job for their clients! As one of our adviser-clients said recently, “Our clients’ lives are being changed!” I hope that describes your clients, also.

Take a few minutes to think about the best advisor or planner you know who makes that kind of impact. Perhaps it’s someone you work with, or a mentor, or perhaps it’s someone who inspired you to become an advisor or planner yourself.

What do that person’s clients love about their planner or advisor? What would their clients say?

There are few professions that have such a major impact. You have the ability to substantively change people’s lives for the better. Do you believe that?

And yet for many, when asked about what they do, the answer is fairly generic, “I’m a financial advisor.” Or, even the basic value proposition, “I help people achieve their financial goals.”

If financial advisors have such a life-changing impact, why aren’t we shouting it from the rooftops instead of feeling (and sounding) so awkward?

Next week, we will share a very simple strategy that will enable you to tell your story with authenticity and conviction.

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