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Articulating the Value of Your Advice

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Articulating the Value of Your Advice

I want to share with you another gem that I’ve learned that makes transition conversations easier and many program members tell me is one of the most valuable elements of all.

The Language of Communication?

Last week, my wife was away all week at a conference. It was Daddy-Daycare week.

My daughter (5) and my son (3) were watching TV and it took me a while to realise that they’d put on a Netflix Japanese cartoon with the audio dubbing turned off. It wasn’t even in English.

But there they were happily watching and taking it in.

It’s Interesting isn’t it, how so much communication doesn’t rely on the spoken word.

Let me ask you this question…

If you had to explain to clients…

  • the value you add,
  • the type of people you work with and the financial problems you solve,
  • the basis on which your business model is designed and advice is provided
  • and how it all works…

…but you couldn’t speak… How would you do it?

Most people I ask of this to instantly default to the same answer – they’d draw it.

Listen or Read?

When I present, I rarely have sentences on my slides.

A piece of research that fell onto my desk a while ago shared that people can’t read and listen at the same time. It’s not physically possible.

So when you’re presenting to a room full of people, and they’re having to read, they’re either not reading or not listening. Either way, it’s not ideal.

So, as a result of working with a number of other thought leaders in the space – Matt Church being at the forefront of this – a lot of what I do with businesses is to introduce them to models and frameworks, ways of articulating what they do in the visual medium,  getting to the core of the value you can provide without having to provide long jargon-filled explanations.

There are so many models I could share here.  There are models around:

  • how to help people overcome procrastination,
  • how to explain how your ongoing service model works, who it’s for
  • how to help people understand budgeting and all sorts.
  • How to explain why sticking with advice is cheaper than quitting,

…but I wanted to share one which is consistently reported as being the most useful.

It’s called the Wealth Pyramid

Knowing What Comes Next

At its core, it’s about explaining your business model in terms of client progression. I like to think of wealth creation as a game. If you win at the game, you get the opportunity to wake up one day and realise that you don’t have to depend on anyone for income other than the smart decisions you’ve made. This is Level 4.

In order to get there, there are three phases everybody needs to go through.

Level 3 – You need to accumulate income that replaces work.

Level 2 – To do this, you focus on accumulating assets.

Level 1 – Before that, there is the foundation level where you get your house in order.

When I work with businesses on this technique, I give them the option of creating their own, though they usually go with a variation of this because it’s not as much about the model itself as…

How they use it and talk with it.

Having it as a tangible printed card that they can draw all over and give to clients to take away.

Coming back to some simple ways of explaining what is a very complex thing.

Right now this matters because the demand for advice continues to grow, but as anybody who read the recent IFA research piece will know, most clients don’t get it, even existing clients.

They trust but don’t necessarily understand.

Whilst this is useful, there is danger in having somebody paying your fee who doesn’t necessarily fully comprehend why.

Anyway, I wanted to share this. As I said, there are a number of different models. But as is the case, when you’re explaining your advice, sometimes trying to impart all the information can actually be detrimental.

It’s in cases like these, sometimes it’s best just to hone in on the one thing that you know, that can make a difference.

Related: How Advisors Can Improve Their Performance

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