Why I let a stranger into my house, knowing it was going to cost me more than fifty grand.
Recently we moved to Greenville, South Carolina, and the home we bought has a large backyard. We wanted to get some ideas for different landscaping we could do. We went to the local home show and there met a lady called Pam.
Now the home show started at nine; we were there right on the dot, and Pam was a little late. She was busy getting set up, but she apologized to us for running a little late, mentioning first off she’d just dropped off her grandson to school and that these were precious moments and times she just was not going to give up for anything. That immediately showed us she was human; she was someone who cared.
This wasn’t just all about business: she had a life, and she had her priorities, and this was what was important to her.
While she was setting up things, she engaged us in conversation (Was this our first home show? Were we new to the area?) and immediately got excited about where we’d come from, and what we were looking to do in the area, and about our jobs that we’re involved in (our home business), and children we had. It had nothing to do with what she was doing or selling, technically. She engaged us as people, for who we were.
It was delightful talking with her, and eventually we ended up having her draw up plans for our home. We had her through our home. As soon as she saw the potential that we had, basically a blank slate of a backyard, she was excited for us when she heard we had moved from a condo. She wasn’t excited for the business she was potentially going to get; she was happy for us, just at where we’re at in this stage of our lives.
You need to do this too, as an advisor. When you’re talking with people about retirement, just don’t immediately think, “IRA and 401(k) coming on to bring in assets” to your business. Get excited for where these people are at in their stage of life and let them see that. Now, it’s got to be genuine, but you want to be able to do that with people – to genuinely be excited about where they’re going and what their aspirations are, regardless of what they might end up bringing on board with you.
The chances are they’re going to end up bringing over everything if they can see you genuinely are interested in them as people.
- If instinctively you don’t feel like this toward people, get used to doing that. Practice it. Understand they’re one-offs. There is only one of that particular person on the planet and will ever be on the planet. See them as unique; see this as a wonderful opportunity to initiate a relationship with someone you’re never going to meet exactly the same again.
- Listen to their aspirations, not just what their aspirations might mean for you. Get excited about what they want to achieve in life and where they want to be in five or ten years’ time.
- Keep asking them questions about that, and you’re going to see ways that you can then help them along the way to their aspirations and where it is they want to get to you. Then when you insert yourself in that process, you’re already a friend with them.
Take your time to develop the relationship, listen to what they say, and then when you’ve got the opportunity to help and bring your professional expertise to their life, you know the chances are they’re going to accept it and begin working with you.
Keep an eye out because soon I’ll bring you a Distraction-Proof Advisor Idea from our landscaped backyard. But until then, I’ll look forward to bringing you another Distraction-Proof Advisor Idea next week.
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