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10 Expressions Every Financial Advisor Should Know

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Sometimes we get tongue tied.  We want to get our message across, but can’t find the words. 

This isn’t a sign of early stage Alzheimer’s.  You just haven’t found the right expression yet.

1. We are all in this together.  The market declined.  Statements arrived.  The client called.  Somehow, this is all your fault.  They see you as a croupier, someone without money on the table.  You are an investor too.  When they feel pain, you feel pain.

2. When you sign, you are attesting everything above your signature is true.  Clients need to fill out lots of paperwork.  Documentation for options trading and mortgages often asks about income and assets.  Some clients stretch the truth.  What could possibly go wrong?  This polite sentence lets them know lying could get them into trouble.

3. Let me make this easy for you.  It often precedes the course of action you are recommending to the client.  Who wouldn’t want to take the easy route?

4. You are an important client to me.  In today’s world of voicemail, phone trees and online relationships, the human factor is sadly lacking.  By letting the client know they are important, you are adding the human element to the relationship.

5. Not HNW, Not Wealthy, But Successful.  We are taught to look for HNW prospects.  We want wealthy people as clients.  Both words sound like “More money than you’ve got.”  In many parts of the Midwest, people are low key about their money.  Try “Successful people” instead.  People identify with the word.  Few if any people consider themselves failures.  They are successful at something.

6. I hope you consider persistence a virtue.  You are following up a prospect. They haven’t made a decision yet.  You leave messages.  Sometimes you get them.  You are worried you are become a pest.  This expression can get them laughing.  Often, they complement you on your follow up, giving permission to keep in touch.  We’re almost there.

7. There’s a fine line between efficient follow up and being a pest.  Once again, you are keeping in touch.  When they are ready to make a decision, you want to be top of mind.  You worry “How much is too much?”  This expression, followed with: “I’m trying to stay on the correct side of the line” often gets them laughing.  They might say: “You’re doing fine.  If you weren’t, I would tell you.”  So far, so good.

8. I will handle your account personally.  This is ideal if you are a sole practitioner!  HNW individuals sometimes find they are prospected by the team leader, but when they become clients, their day to day contact is with junior people.  They didn’t get the person they assumed!  This ties in with “You will be an important client to me.”  You might add you won’t hand it off to a junior person.

9. Introductions.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Business relationships sometimes start as social ones.  You know the people you want to meet.  If you ask for an introduction, your friend or client might assume you are going to immediately prospect them.  This could reflect badly on your friend.  You might say:  “Do you know Mrs. Smith?  She’s the type of person I would like to meet.  Would you introduce me socially?”  It’s softer.  You might also try: “This is the type of person I may be able to help.”

10. Everyone should have the opportunity to say no.  This might be more of a concept than an expression, but it might be used with a friend to rationalize bringing up business.  The message is by not approaching them with an idea, you are deciding for them they wouldn’t be interested.  Shouldn’t that be their decision?

Related: Having That Awkward “Debt” Conversation with Clients

These are only a few easy expressions to help get your point across.  You probably have your own.

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