I spent the day talking about Advice-based Planning to a fantastic group of advisors. They are all committed to offering advice for a fee to their clients, for all the right reasons. Some in the group have a lot of experience offering advice and others are new to the idea.
Toward the end of the day, we did a breakout exercise to have each advisor explain to a small group how a potential client can hire them.
There were four questions that they needed to answer clearly, concisely and with confidence:
I do my best work for these kinds of people…
If we work together, our initial planning process looks like this…
After we are done with that, our annual planning process looks like this…
This is how we calculate our planning fee…
That's it, four basic questions that every advisor should be able to answer for every potential client. In my group, not a single advisor could come close to answering those four basic questions clearly, concisely or with confidence.
Some were incredibly vague and hard to understand.
Some were going off on theoretical tangents in the middle of describing their meetings.
Some were so busy "defending" themselves from non-existent objections that they couldn’t get through it.
We broke up into four groups and when I asked the other group leaders how their advisors did; the answer was the same. It ended up devolving in to a group discussion instead of a skills test.
I am not writing this to give anyone a hard time. These are successful advisors who have great intentions and who elected to spend a whole day away from their practices working on learning how to implement Advice-based Planning.
If they couldn't do it, then I would suggest that it is a rare advisor who can.
Here is the truth: If we can't describe who we serve, what we do and how we determine the cost of those services, how can we expect to get hired? It might also be fair to ask, "should we get hired if we don't have the clarity on our own business model to clearly, concisely and with confidence answer those four basic questions?"
I challenge you to test yourself! Here is what I would suggest you do:
Contemplate those four questions and make any notes you need to reference.
Ask a friend, preferably not in the industry, to play the role of potential client.
Record your conversation on your phone (audio or video).
Answer the four questions in under 10 minutes.
Once you have done that, ask your friend these questions:
Listen to their feedback and your recording. You are going to find out so much about your offer and your ability to deliver it clearly, concisely and with confidence.
If you nailed it, you will have no trouble getting hired and are probably in the top 5% of advisors.
If you struggled, realize you may need to re-design your offer and practice delivering it until it flows with ease!
If you are struggling and you really don't know where to start, I have a couple of tools that could really help. The Discovery EXPERIENCE Online course will help you with the words and structure of the whole initial meeting, including the offer.
But fancy words alone won't solve this problem. You have to be able to back it up. The Delivering on the Promise Online Course will help you develop your own initial and annual client service models and build a planning fee structure that makes sense for your business and your clients.
Email me if you want more information on either of those courses or have any specific questions about how to make it easy for clients to hire you! Connect@TheIntentionlAdvisor.com