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You may think your clients are hiring you because of your investment expertise, credentials, the types of planning you offer, or the products you provide. And while those items are important to your business, and will benefit your clients, they’re not why they hire you.

If you believe those are the reasons someone hires you, as most of us business owners do at some point, your business is probably running your life, or you’re very busy running around in circles. You’re not being as productive or as profitable as you know you could be.

So why does a stranger talk to you and then become a client?

People hire you because they are experiencing financial pain and they want a transformation to occur that makes the problem go away. In other words, there is a gap between where they are now and where they want or need to be. And that’s just as true for someone hiring an advisor, a life coach, a business consultant, a web designer, or other provider of a service, for that matter.

Where Are They Now?

People don’t spend their hard-earned money or struggle though the process of changing because they have nothing better to do. They contact you because they are unhappy with some aspect of their financial life. There is a problem that has been keeping them up at night or that they’ve tried to fix and haven’t been able to resolve themselves. They look for you because their existing condition is not helping them reach their goals. Their problem is overwhelming, annoying, frustrating, or very confusing.

Where Do They Want Go?

One of the reasons the old version of onboarding no longer works is that advisors didn’t learn enough about the person in front of them. Face it, the initial talk was about selling the client something and getting all their financial information. Business is about profit; however, it’s important to learn about a prospect’s or client’s personal and profession goals during the first meeting. Today, your initial talk with a prospect or client should be about connecting with them quickly and as deeply as possible. Financial records come later in the process.

Today, you must have a process that helps clients know, like, and trust you. And to do that you need to know much more, from the start, about their current struggles as well as their goals, what they’ve done so far to reach those goals, and how it would feel for them (and their family members) if they were to achieve their goals.

If prospects are unhappy with any area of their money situation, fixing that current state is what they’re seeking to achieve. It’s the same for you when you are looking to hire a web designer. If you’re unhappy with your current website, fixing it is what you’re going to pay to achieve. If you’re happy with your website, you’re not going to pay for anything website related. Right?

What’s Your Value To The Client?

First, you want to turn a stranger into a prospect and then into a client. You do this by being very clear about your value to your clients. Your value helps strangers see that you can help them move from where they are to where they want to be.

That’s why I teach my clients an introduction process that does NOT include their profession or the services they offer. I also teach them not to give out their business card unless someone asks them for it. Their goal, upon meeting a stranger, is to get the stranger’s information or business card so that they can call them.

“Hello, my name is ____ and I’m a financial advisor who offers financial planning.” That’s part of the old Elevator Speech formula.  It works if you’re looking for funding for your business, but it’s a turnoff if you’re looking to turn strangers into clients.

What you want to do is feature your value-based proposition in what I call a Business Snapshot.  Here are some examples:

“Most small business owners don’t feel 100% confident about the regularity of their cash flow. What we do is give them a clear roadmap so they know exactly where they’re going and that helps them make stronger decisions along the way.”

“I help executives who are 5 years away from retirement create a plan to help them more thoroughly enjoy their retirement.”

“It’s common for women who are close to retirement to worry if they’re making the right decisions about their financial future. So what we do is walk them through a 5-step process that helps them gain clarity.”

Action: Request Our Basic Business Snapshot Formula

1. Request our simple 2-page report/template that tells you how to create an introduction that turns strangers into clients (and turns off non-ideal clients). PLUS, you’ll gain access to our Business Growth Toolkit. You’ll receive both when you register now for our Focus On Business newsletter. If you’re already enjoying my newsletter, just email me and I’ll send it to you.

2. Share this article with your team members and colleagues. Ask them for feedback on your new Business Snapshot.

3. When you “talk shop” with strangers, prospects, or clients, before you leave, as them “What is the 1 thing you found most valuable about our conversation?” You’ll then learn what your value has been to them today.