Story Selling

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Mar 31, 2008 12:16 pm

I read an analogy posted here on comparing a financial advisor to an airline pilot.  It was fantastic and I plan on using when appriate.  Do you guys and girls have some analogies you like using when explaining things to your clients?

  I look forward to reading them.
Mar 31, 2008 2:12 pm

I will ask a client, “Mr./Mrs. Client, if you are the head coach of your financial team, who is your quarterback?”

  client answers, "umm.....i dunno"    "I ask because as we all know, a great football team needs a great QB.  You may feel you have very capable role players in your (CPA/stockbroker/insurance agent, etc.).  Maybe you don't feel confindent in one or all of them.  But when you and your team gets together to discuss your financial game plan, who (besides you) is heading up the effort?"   client answers, "ummm....nobody really.  We don't all get together ever."   "Well Mr./Mrs. client, you're not alone.  All my clients felt the same way before we started working together.  My job is to be your quarterback.  You and I will get your team on the same page.  You and I will hold every role player accountable - from your P&C agent, to your stock broker, to your mortgage broker, and everybody in between.  We will make sure they are working at maximum efficiency.  If there are leaks in your game plan, I will let you know.  I will be able to fix the holes using different financial strategies.  If I cannot, I will refer the problem to a professional colleague who can.  How does that sound?"
Mar 31, 2008 4:07 pm

Try the book StorySelling for Financial Advisors.

Mar 31, 2008 4:37 pm

Any of Mitch Anthony’s books will help you in this area. StorySelling is a good start.

Mar 31, 2008 8:42 pm

I have story selling, not that many good stories.  The back has some but I’ve already heard better analogies in this place.

Apr 1, 2008 4:40 pm

Using the football team analogy, I tell them that they are the team owner and that I’m the head coach. We work together to achieve the team’s goals.

  One of my comebacks from my stock pitching days:   Prospect: I don't know you   Me: Mr. prospect, let me ask you this; The last time you flew on an airliner, did you know the pilot personally? My guess is that you didn't. Yet, you flew on that plane because you knew the airline. You knew the FAA had checked that plane and pilot out. You trusted your life to that person, I'm only asking for your money. You know who we are, you know what the New York Stock Exchange is, and you know (fill in blank with big NYSE stock) I'm not coming to you with some fly by night pink sheet idea. Let's start with 1000 shares. Would you like to start on margin or would cash be better?   Or something like that.   Analogies and metaphors are fun. There's a zillion of them.
Apr 2, 2008 10:30 am

Boiler Room?

  Interesting movie based on one of many penny stock firms that adopted the "The Lehman System", or "Lehman Approach" of pitching stocks to open accounts. The Lehman system can be tracked to it's inventor Martin Shafiroff who used it to build the biggest retail practice in the country. The "close" listed in the post above is a version of a similar close that Shafiroff used to open accounts.   While "pitching" clients might seem to have penny stock origins nothing could be further from the truth. Firms like Lehman, Bear Stearns, and Opco, have produced some of the largest producers in the country using this technique. It was born in their board rooms. One doesn't become large and stay large if they are ripping off clients. Which these brokers were not, and are not. Unfortunately, various hangers on, who couldn't cut it for the likes of top managers like Steve Dantus found a home in the penny stock firms. Given some operating cash guys like Bob Brennan subverted the Lehman approach and used it to hurt a lot of people. And then someone made a movie.   As for the movie,  like Wall Street, it's an embarrassment. But then again, who would watch a movie about a Wall Street good guy? Yawn.    
Apr 2, 2008 11:22 am

Ice, relax! No offense taken. I posted just to clarify.

  Many if not most of the incoming class is unaware of how big businesses were built. Pitching stocks or bonds was how it was done. Get on the phone and sell something to someone, today! Most brokers adopted a two or three call system to fact find and close business. This system stayed in place unmolested untill the suits noticed that their revenue was directly connected to the market's fortune. That's when they started the big managed money push. As all vets will remember a bit of a tug of war ensued for the hearts and minds of brokers. And in the process "pitching" stocks or bonds was tarnished as an unprofessional way of doing business. Brokers became "advisors" and a new day was born. One that held that fee business is what's best for all clients. Of course that's ludicrous. But, thousands in our industry buy it as gospel. I'll leave it to readers to judge the veracity of what they've been fed regarding transactional business building techniques. I will say this, those of us who use those techniques are here, and we're big. And  when we get a seat at the table with your clients, you, the product of sterilized fee management training, are done. Yeah, we're that good. (ice not directed at you personally)   I know, sorry you got me started.
Apr 2, 2008 11:34 am

BG - Is it fair to assume your stock pitching days were pre-Homer?

Apr 2, 2008 4:28 pm

BG - Is it fair to assume your stock pitching days were pre-Homer?

  LOL, yeah, that was a long time ago. I learned a lot from my Lehman Bros mentors. And I use what I learned to this day. I have to say, I learned the most from a guy named Bill Tennison. Bill passed away a few years ago, and to be clear I never actually met him. But one day in the early nineties I was eating dinner at the office and looking for something motivational to give me some energy for my upcoming 3 hour cold calling session. So I whipped out a 3 year old tape from a Bill Good conference. It changed my life. I thought "How did i miss this tape?" It was Tennison giving the nuts and bolts on how to sell tax free bonds. Better still, through bill Good, Tennison was offering a Master Class on his system. It was about $1000, and it was by far the best money I've ever spent on my business. Within four months of starting the system I was back to opening 20 plus accounts a month on munis. The system could be used today.   Interestingly, years later in the wake of 9/11, the wirehouse firm I was with wanted to present some things that were still working. So over the call system they piped in a conference call with one of the firm's multi-million dollar producers. He told us all he did was buy tax free bonds. Pitch and close all day long with his motto, which I've co-opted "Just buy Bonds!" And he dealt with only retail accounts. Only 14 million of his 375mm AUM was institutional. Someone asked him how he got started. He said while he was struggling to figure out what to do in this biz when one of his friends gave him a tape. The tape, Bill Tennison, How To Have A Record year, made a lot of sense to him. Amen to that brother!
Apr 2, 2008 4:35 pm

One other thought: The million dollar guy who the wirehouse wanted everyone to listen to; the reason the wire wanted him to speak was not only his 2.5 mil prod level, or his 375 million aum, but also that he has just had a record month, opening over 85 new accounts on a negotiated power bond issue. he did this with the help of one registered assistant. Yeah, the bond thing can work.

Apr 2, 2008 6:08 pm

BG - thanks… just what I needed to hear today.

Apr 3, 2008 12:18 pm

reading StorySelling is not simply to find stories and copy them, it is to show you how to create your own and implement them.