Everything you hope to accomplish with a client or prospect begins with a conversation. As goes the conversation, so goes the decision-making process. One of our greatest historical challenges is the fact that we are a left-brain industry trying to communicate with a right-brain client. We are far more comfortable with charts, graphs, statistics and data—and far less comfortable with metaphors, analogies and stories.
By the way, this is not an either/or proposition: We use our analytical left brain to inform and ultimately justify our decisions, but more often than not we use our intuitive and often more emotional right brain to actually make those decisions (and believe me, there are many days I wish this were not the case). As a result of this predominantly left-brain approach, our industry is occasionally clear, but rarely compelling in its presentations and conversations with clients.
As a result of this left-brain approach, we:
- all tend to sound very similar to both our clients and prospects;
- cede to the media and pundits the persuasive influence that flows through the power of narrative and story;
- consistently attack the fear and trepidation of our clientele with data points rather than with philosophical insights and historical context.
In the span of an average week, we often have well over 100 conversations with both clients and prospects, most of which are extemporaneous, situational and very tactical. However, given the nature of our profession, we have many “recurring conversations” where we say the same thing over and over again to different clients and/or prospects on the same topic or situation. These are your “recurring conversations”—or, in the popular vernacular, your “scripts” —which often simply evolved over time. We have isolated 16 of the recurring conversations you have with clients and prospects on a fairly regular basis. Over the coming weeks, we will give you exact and compelling language to frame such messages and answer such questions as:
- “So what do you do”?
- “So how do you do it”?
- How do you “break the social dance” and approach a prospect in a social setting?
- How do you explain the concept of wealth management and diversification utilizing the analogy of a boat?
- How do you leverage the concept articulated by Ayn Rand of enlightened self-interest when asking for referrals?
- And many others…
Feel free to modify these so they fit you comfortably and stylistically, but be sure to maintain the underlying theme and structure of these “recurring conversations.”
Watch our Compelling Conversations overview.
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These views represent the opinions of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and are not intended as investment advice or to predict or depict the performance of any investment. These views are as of the open of business on the publication date, and are subject to change based on subsequent developments.