We’ve been told for decades how to talk about our products and what our products can do for our prospects and clients. But what if those conversations are outdated now? (hint: they are!) What kind of conversation should you be having? What words work today?
Watch this video, recorded at a presentation I did in Scottsdale, Arizona, in front of a roomful of financial and benefits advisors, to learn what they learned about how to serve your clients better while also growing your business. If you prefer to read, the transcription of the video is below.
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Transcription of Video
When you can create an environment where the client… they actually want, not the product, not the life insurance… they want what the life insurance can DO for them, you are creating an environment where people will write big checks. It’s not for your reasons; it’s for theirs. It’s a completely different conversation.
The four steps to setting the stage
The first step is creating a message, a powerful message, a message that is so powerful that, if someone asked you what is it that you do for a living, you would be guaranteed an appointment with that person if you wanted the appointment. If you wanted the appointment.
Operate from your beliefs
You know, it’s a little bit of a different twist, too, because you know, when you’re operating from your beliefs, you’re actually the buyer, not the seller. You’re actually determining if you want to do business with this person. You’re in the driver’s seat here. You don’t have to just take anybody. So when you create this message, what we refer to as the Explanation of Services (EOS).
So the Explanation of Services in itself has three parts. First is a statement of fact. So statement of fact. Many of you have, I’m imagining, many aspects to your business. You might do holistic planning. You probably offer all types of products and yet, if you sit back and think about it, is there one part of your business that, if that’s all you did, you line up clients outside your door and that’s all they wanted to talk about, you’d really be happy?
But imagine we’re doing a million other things aren’t we? Yet, this is what we want to be. So if we think about where we want to be and we create a statement of fact around what we’re most passionate about in our business. Then when you speak, you will be more passionate. It will just naturally flow from you.
So you identify what your most passionate about in your business and you know, it’s interesting, too, when people ask you what do you do for a living. Did you catch the word “what?” They’re setting you up for failure because when they see what, they expect you to say, “l’m a CPA.’ Oh, well.
When I went from only being a life agent to being a financial advisor, I thought I really moved up in the ranks. That’s like now, I can say I’m a financial advisor but you know, when you tell them you’re a financial advisor, this happens, everybody thinks they know what a financial adviser does. They have already, in their heads said, “I know exactly what you do I have no reason to talk to you. I am all set” You just lumped yourself in with every other advisor in the country.
Here, with your Explanation of Services, is an opportunity to distinguish your uniqueness. And that’s really the goal here. You’re actually not only telling someone what you do for a living, you’re telling them why they should do business with you. So you create one statement around a fact. For me what has been most successful is saying something like this. “I educate people as to how they can recover tens of thousands of dollars they have no idea is unnecessarily slipping through their fingers into the hands of the financial institutions, Wall Street and the government.”
If the client is not asking questions and engaging or shaking their head yes in agreement, move on. You don’t want them as a client, saving yourself a lot of heartache and headache and there are a lot of people who want to hear your message.
I will say when we talk about explanation of services, and I’m walking through it quickly here, it sounds like you’re just kind of kind of going through all of it together. However, it’s meant to be a conversation but you know what you’re directing the conversation to. So you’ve practiced this ahead of time as well.
If I don’t get a response from the statement of fact, I end the conversation or change the subject. If I do get a response, then I continue by giving an example of what I do for people. Maybe an area that you enjoy is showing people how they could retire years sooner than they ever thought possible. Wouldn’t that feel good? Maybe you’ve protected them from market ups and downs and volatility. Whatever it is, again in that part of your business that you’re passionate about and that you’ve had great results in helping people with, you would tailor your example around that. This, too, needs to be one or two sentences.
So I add in a little bit of my belief statement in that. And share with someone that I believe the people who earned the money should be in control of their wealth ,not these institutions trying to take it from us. And so I teach strategies that on average identify 40 to 50 thousand dollars that people are losing each and every year. Once we identify that money, my client puts it to work for themselves. That’s an example of what I can do for you. Do you think they’re thinking let’s get together?
Well then, let’s move into the last part which is the question. And it’s not a typical question of, “well, when are you available?” I was always taught Tuesday at 3:00 or Thursday at 10:00. No no no. You’ve got to ask the question in a way that they’re going to say yes because you’ve identified this as someone you want to do business with.
It could sound something like this, that if you and I sat down together and I identified $40,000 you had no idea you were losing is that a conversation you’d want to have? Who would say no? Would you say no? And then I decided one day, I woke up with a specific intention because I really wanted to test my explanation of services. I decided that I wanted to go out and find a total stranger and just create that opportunity and share my explanation of services.
Opportunities are everywhere
I was on my way to a networking event early in the morning and I stopped in Starbucks. As I pull in, I see this guy in a Mercedes and I happened to be driving one at a time, so I said, he’s my first target. I rush in after him and I start a conversation about the car. I mean why not? This is going great. The guy’s an attorney. He works in the next town. We’re having this wonderful conversation. I’m just about to get to it and this woman interrupts us because she had left her wallet at home. So the attorney agrees to pay for her coffee but he moves up to the front and now I’ve got to start all over with this woman.
But she gave me a softball. She said “Oh I’m just frazzled this morning. I changed around my business model and it’s really got me going in a different direction. And I said, “Really I have, too. So what are you doing?” And she shared with me what she was doing. We walked out the door and I had an appointment. ! Six thirty in the morning. I mean I can’t believe it. I’ve brought people into this industry. I was in management for a number of years and prospecting is always the number one thing. But I walked by prospects all of the time.
How many people did any of you see last week? Lots. Yeah. Most people I ask that question of say “oh. You know six or seven.” because that’s how many appointments they had. But people are everywhere as long as you can say hello to somebody. You have an opportunity, when you have your message and your words clear.
I’ll go through the three parts and kind of put it all together as one example. So if someone asked me what I do for a living, and keep in mind you make it conversational, I have never had so much fun educating people as to how they can recover tens of thousands of dollars they have no idea is slipping through their fingers into the hands of the federal government. Wall Street and the financial institutions. I believe that the people who earn the money should be in control of their money, not those institutions trying to take it from us. And so I teach strategies that, on average, identify 40 thousand dollars that people are losing each and every year. What makes it so much fun is, as soon as we identify that money, my clients put it to work for themselves.
[00:09:24] So if you and I sat down together, went over a few strategies and I identified just $40,000 that you’ve no idea you’re transferring away, is that a conversation you’d want to have? And that’s it. Simple? Sounds simple. It takes a little work.
I do suggest that if you work on this that you actually tape record yourself. Listen to your inflection, your tone and actually step back and ask yourself, if I was listening to this person, would I want to do business with them. Because if you don’t, you need to go back to work at it. But memorizing it and this was another thing that I thought, I always believed that if I memorized something, it would sound canned. It wouldn’t be authentic. And so I always resisted memorizing.
But what I learned, instead, is when you memorize something, you’re not going to say it the same way every time but it frees up your mind so that you can truly focus on the other person, their body language, what they’re saying and that allows you to internalize instead of saying “OK, what am I going to say next?”.
A lot of us have to do that; we’re always thinking ahead. And it’s a difference really between listening to respond and listening to understand. Listen to understand. Most of us just listen to respond. The big difference when we pause and begin to really slow down, we make a deeper connection with that client at the same time.
This is creating your message and the second phase to setting the stage is do business with people who believe what you believe. So we talked a bit about that with Simon Sinek. And I’ve shared with you my Why. But I’ll also share with you my belief. And my belief is that in everything I do, I believe in challenging status quo as it relates to traditional wealth accumulation strategies and more importantly, wealth spending strategies. I simply believe they don’t work.
In everything I do, I challenge the status quo of the administration’s right to confiscate and tax everything we do. Because it seems the more successful we become, the more they want from us. In everything I do, I challenge the traditional wealth accumulation strategies and utilize strategies where people actually have the right to legally not have to file a tax return. And I do this by using the tax code itself… the code that’s over 106 years old.
That is the heart of every conversation I have. So I know when I want to do business with people who believe what I believe that they are concerned about where we’re headed in this country. They are concerned about taxation. They’re concerned about health care. If we share that belief then that is someone that I want to work with. And it’s really simple.
I’ll give you some language in a moment to sort of flesh out that belief in another way and come back to it. But before I do that, I’ll just say the third part is, when you do business with people who believe what you believe, then you want to show the problem. Real key. If people don’t believe there’s a problem, there’s no point in going on. And what I have is the blessing to be able to show people they have a problem that they didn’t even know existed. That’s a game changer.
There’s a book called The Challenger Sale. The Challenger Sale went through an experiment of different types of sales people. In my experience in this industry, a lot of the people that we hire into this business are relationship people and you would think that the relationship people would have done really well. It actually turned out that the challengers did really well because the challengers challenged status quo.
The Challengers also were able to bring to a client or prospect a problem that they didn’t know existed and it set them apart instantly.
So uncovering those problems because, once they see the problem, you’re into Step Four, they want the solution. And here’s the fun part. Life insurance, it kind of really doesn’t matter what it’s called at this point. It’s irrelevant because they want it. They want what it does for them. So focusing on that problem and sharing with them what it can do for them. Open their eyes to simply hear that conversation is what makes all the difference.