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Choose Your Words

Some advisors have the innate ability to sell their services through natural conversation; others have to make a concerted effort to master the art of affluent sales.

After analyzing elite advisor verbiage, I built a model that will help advisors communicate with those in affluent circles. The key is to be concise, conversational and confident.

For example, a big dislike among affluent investors is when a financial advisor talks too much. Most advisors know this, yet many advisors still talk too much. Affluent investors also don’t like financial jargon and tend to view it as a sales tactic. Yet, financial advisors are still trained to use this language. They also don’t like salespeople.

Here’s are some ways to overcome these challenges:

Be Concise: This way you’re not taking too much airtime—wealthy people like to hear themselves talk. You’re also less likely to be espousing financial jargon, and you’re positioning yourself as a natural contributor to a conversation.

Whether someone asks what you do for a living or about NFL officiating, your response should be concise, clear and delivered in a manner that fosters conversation.

This habit is even more important whenever the discussion turns to business—what you do, how you do what you do, what’s happening in the markets, the Fed’s increase in interest rates and so on. A concise response usually requires preparation.

Be Conversational: This is about style. Most people don’t realize that a good conversationalist is a good listener. Elite advisors also know how to modulate their voice and pace their words, all of which helps them connect with a prospect.

Conversation is not a monologue; it’s give and take. Elite advisor comments are often followed by a topical question that moves the dialogue back to the prospect, so it becomes a two-sided conversation. Elite advisors never allow their sales skills to become visible, yet they’re always selling.

An advisor’s questions should be carefully aligned to the individual or circumstance. For instance, if they have just met an affluent prospect at a social event, their questions are likely geared to uncover personal information—social involvement, likes, dislikes, family, etc. If it’s someone inquiring about business, questions are apt to result in a business meeting.

Be Confident: Personal presence and people skills are the top two qualities affluent investors look for in a successful financial advisor. Elite advisors have developed a relaxed confidence that defines their personal presence. They have gravitas, they’re comfortable in their own skin and make others comfortable around them. And because they’re concise and conversational, they have excellent people skills.

Most financial advisors are taught to put too much emphasis on words and scripts, all of which cause poor delivery. Next time you’re talking to someone, focus on being concise, conversational and confident. You’ll find out if you’re long-winded, using big words or not listening—all of which are indicators of a lack of confidence.

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