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Why Less is the New More

Why Less is the New More

Many financial advisors have developed the bad habit of talking too much In the world of affluent sales – listening, really listening is the secret.

Atlanta:  “It seems as though everything I’ve learned has been turned upside down.” Marvin exclaimed, and then added “My firm used to run account opening sales contests and now I can’t even get paid on these smaller clients I was enticed to acquire.  What gives?”

Melvin is an LOS 25 veteran.  He’s also a bit cynical, but who could blame him?  Like a good courtroom lawyer, he knew the answer to his question but was simply fishing for my response.  Not to disappoint, I replied “Less is the NEW more,” to which he chuckled and moved on.

However, I wasn’t making a joke.  Less is the new more in a variety of ways…

  • Less clients – more affluent clients & assets

Many financial advisors have jettisoned smaller clients, but like Marvin, still have too many smaller clients that interfere with the time and attention devoted to their affluent clients.  The relationship management – relationship marketing nexus is activated by providing more services to affluent clients, spending more time with affluent clients, more socializing with affluent clients, more penetration of their spheres-of-influence, which leads to more affluent clients.  More affluent clients = more assets.

  • Less talking – more listening

Many financial advisors have developed the bad habit of talking too much.  People who talk too much are annoying, even our friends, but in the world of affluent sales – listening, really listening is the secret.  Affluent clients and prospects want to be heard, and they’ll typically tell you what’s important to them if you give them a chance.

  • Less presentation slides – more real conversation & business

When presenting a proposal to a prospect or showcasing your practice to CPA, the less of a glitzing “we do everything” slide presentation and the more of a warm conversation about a prospect’s personal circumstances and how your services can help – the more you’re you become and the more business you get.


  • Less industry jargon – more believable

Today’s affluent don’t like industry jargon.  Whether it’s their financial advisor or their physician, they prefer communication in everyday language that is easily understood.  Today’s affluent are not impressed with jargon, you become much more believable by using normal language.

  • Less business talk – more business

This is counterintuitive, but the less business you discuss, especially in social circles, the more magnetic you become.  The more magnetic, the more opportunity to mini-close, the more mini-closes, the more business you get.

  • Less social media posts – more social media credibility

Unless you’re an industry thought leader like Michael Kitces, our affluent research is clear about ongoing frivolous posting – it’s annoying.  The affluent view it like direct mail.  Yet, a weekly post or two that is thoughtful and informative is good for your brand – it enhances your credibility.

  • Less about you – more about them

Whether it’s in your office or at a social event, few people like a braggart, a narcissist, or the self-absorbed.  Whether it’s talking about your triathlon, boat, trek down the Amazon, or your bad knee, today’s affluent are not impressed when it’s all about you.  Rapport is developed when it’s all about them.  Rapport builds trust, and trust opens windows of opportunity. 

Marvin was too busy talking, he knew he was right, to really listen to any of what I was saying.  Yes, my response got his attention, but old habits are hard to break.  There can be no mistaking the fact, less is the NEW more.


Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients.

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