By: Daniel C. Finley

What is Your Why?

During a recent group coaching session, Jeff S. a veteran financial advisor explained that was working well for him when talking with clients and prospects was finding the answer to the question, “What is your Why?” The group members were quiet as they tried to figure out what Jeff actually meant, so I obviously asked Jeff to elaborate. He explained, we all have a “Why” or a reason(s) that motivate(s) us to do what we do. However, few advisors truly take the time to uncover their own “Why” or that of their clients.  Instead, advisors merely explain their recommendations to the prospects and/or clients and expect them to agree.

Let’s take a closer look at this concept of “What is your Why?” and what best next steps are.

Understanding the “Why”:

People hate to be sold to but they love to buy! The reason they buy is because a product or service appeals to their motivation. So how do we find out what is motivating them? We simply ask questions such as, “What do you want this money to do for you and why? How will you feel when you accomplish that goal?” and, “What’s important about having that feeling?”

Now, their answers tell us a lot about a person. Take for instance possible replies to the preceding questions: “I want this money to be for retirement so I don’t have to sell my house. I will feel more comfortable knowing I have a cushion to fall back on if need be and, what is most important about having that is a feeling of security to not have to rely on others.”

Obviously, these answers or motivations focus on “why” the value they place on having money equals having security.

Understanding the “What”:

Once you understand their “Why” you must now help them understand the “What”.  The “What” is the product or service you can offer that will help them accomplish their goals. At this stage in the conversation it is important to connect the two. Here is an example:

“It sounds to me like you want to make sure that you get some growth in order to have a cushion to fall back on but you don’t want to take a lot of risk because you may need this money. In order to do both, I recommend we take a look at X or Y”.

Understanding the “How”:

Once you explain the “What” (the product/service) that will assist them in reaching their goals, you need to explain “How” those connect with their motivations (their “why”) so they will want to buy. They may also have questions about “How” the process or procedure works. That is why it is vital to help them fully understand step-by-step all the details of your specific recommendations.

The “Where and When” can be comfortably inserted into the “How” as follows:

“If this seems like it makes the most sense in helping you get the growth (“why”) as well as security for your retirement dollars without taking a lot of risk, then (“what”-insert investment recommendation) is the vehicle that I recommend because (“why and what”-insert all of the reasons). In order to do that we would need to (“how”) open a new account card, fill out the paperwork and transfer the money from (“where”) your other brokerage account. This should take about (“when”) a week or two to have the money transferred. Are you comfortable moving ahead?”

The reason this is so powerful is because you are helping them understand the “Why, What, Where, When and How” to accomplish their goals. The only thing I have left out is the “Who” will help them to do it however if you have mapped out this entire process to fit your own discussions, your clients and prospects will undoubtedly realize that YOU are the advisor for the job!

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