“That’s why we record. Because taking care of you is much more important than watching a movie. My team and I will listen to the recording at least once to make sure we get our advice just right for you.”

Then ask your first question and conduct the client meeting.

With prospects at your first meeting, say, “We appreciate the fact you have made time in your busy schedules to be here today. The fact that you have done that and gathered all of your financial documents tells me that you are serious about making smart choices about your money. Is that true?”
Pause for a response from each partner.

“Well, we take it seriously also. You’ll notice that we ask lots of questions, take lots of notes, and we record our meetings as well. The reason we record is because we’re very thorough. Do you know how you can watch a movie a second or third time and see things you didn’t see the first time?”

Pause for a response from each person.

“That’s why we record. Because taking care of you is much more important than watching a movie. Should we decide to do business together, my team and I will listen to this recording at least once to make sure we get our advice just right for you.”

Ask your first question, conduct your client interview, and make your offer to be hired for comprehensive financial planning.

Pushback from prospects and clients to record meetings is so rare that it’s statistically irrelevant. The recording app that came with your phone will work fine. Just open it up and press record. And, yes, that’s really what you sound like. You’ll get better.

You should communicate with both spouses or life partners. If you tend to meet with one spouse or the other, change your process to include both, especially if one doesn’t like coming to your meetings. What would have to change so both find it valuable to attend? Too many financial advisors have a relationship with only the man, which explains why 70% of widows reportedly fire their advisors within 12 months after their husbands die.

Given the hard statistical reality that women live longer than men, every client relationship you have primarily with a married man is a client relationship at risk. Being able to effectively communicate with men and women is vital.

What kind of crazy business model would it be to place most, or every, client relationship in the hands of the person who is going to die first and leave all of their money to their spouse … with whom you have little or no relationship?

The fundamentals of excellent communication are asking good questions, listening with empathy, making an emotional connection, making offers in a way that’s all about the client, speaking “outcome language” versus “process language,” and giving advice that is compelling and inspires action. What would you guess is the ratio of listening versus talking for the excellent communicator? As they say, the truth is on the tape.

Third: Don’t be married to how you are compensated. Be committed to being compensated and how much you are compensated, but not how you are compensated.

The CEO of a well-known firm recently said to her advisors, “In the old world we gave away the planning and advice and sold the products. In the new world, we are going to get paid for planning and advice and give away the products.”

What if that’s true? There is a very good chance that the percentage of AUM form of compensation model is starting to phase out. It’s just the logical progression of events. The last compensation method is just the last compensation method. Why would AUM be the final one ever? Odds are that it isn’t.

Evaluate the way you are paid. Consider charging an up-front fee for planning and an ongoing fee for advice and accountability. Consider being paid directly from your client for the value of you and your services in the most simple ways possible. Would they write you a check, have your fee deducted from their bank account or money market account, or charge their credit card? Where is the stone carving that says, “Fees must be based on assets under management and deducted from the investment account?” What exactly is the value of YOU?

Might you soon, like many other advisors who have already made this transition, be paid for planning, advice and accountability … and nothing for managing money or selling insurance? Stranger things have happened. (Donald Trump is the president, Bill Cosby might be a rapist, and Bruce Jenner is a woman.)

Lastly, make this the year you stick to that New Year’s resolution to take better care of your health. You can’t do well if you don’t feel well. 

To learn more about how Bill and his team can help you be a more direct and candid communicator who helps clients make better decisions, schedule your Business Accelerator Meeting today. 858-558-3200/www.billbachrach.com

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