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What’s Worth $2.2 Billion?


What’s it worth to know the future?

Apparently a lot! Over $2.2 billion was spent last year in the US alone on mediums and psychics, sought out by people wanting to know what their future held.

Often times in watching athletes be interviewed, I’ll hear them asked about the training regimes they had, about how they faced competition, about what was going on in their minds before their biggest races in their lives. But I very rarely hear focus and attention given to the plan that the athletes started with. How did they actually get involved in the sport, and what type of planning was laid down so that they knew exactly what needed to happen and what they had to contend with. For an athlete to be successful, they all start with a plan.

And so this is a great way to mention to prospects about how you work with people. When we’re allowed back out and more socializing is becoming the norm again, when you do get asked by people about how business is going, have you been impacted by the shutdowns, and what have you, be ready to come out with a positive response:

“Business right now is booming. This has highlighted the necessity of having a plan, and we’re speaking to a lot of people who either have never had a financial plan or even have worked with an advisor who has not highlighted the need for a plan.

“I mean, consider your plan. What is it showing you, relative to retirement options down the track?”

Just reflect the question back to them. You’ve clarified a little bit how you help, but you’ve potentially sown some seeds in that person’s mind about what they really need to ensure they have dialed in and taken care of. [That’s] just some easy language to highlight the necessity of a plan. So ask them about their plan, [once you] tell them how you help people with planning. For instance, “What’s your plan showing you about retirement options, especially given what we’ve just experienced?”

[These are] just simple ways to sow the seeds in people’s minds about how you help them.

Look, when it comes to psychics, they don’t really have a clue about what somebody’s future holds. But $2.2 billion is a lot of money, and it highlights people’s desire to have a plan, or at least have the expectations set down and to know what’s potentially coming down the track. (I say “potentially” from the psychic, but you presenting a financial plan to somebody: that provides a whole load more certainty.)

So when we do have the opportunity to socialize again, and believe me, it will happen, and you find yourself with the chance to talk with someone who could really benefit from the services you provide with planning,

1. Have that language dialed in. Have succinct, go-to language ready to roll, that helps clarify exactly what you do regarding financial planning and why people really need it.

2. Further develop that language so you’re ready to go into deeper conversations. Provide analogies for people that allow them to really see exactly what it is that you provide for them, but relative to a word picture. So, for instance, you might use the analogy of architecture and having a blueprint, and even looking around the building saying,

“This just didn’t happen. This was all put up according to a blueprint, to an initial plan.

“And it amazes me how often people expect to retire or expect to have all these financial opportunities down the track with no blueprint.

“That’s exactly why, right now, we are flat out with planning.”

3. If you’re not focusing on planning right now, you need to be. People might want to talk with you about equity returns, about the S&P direction. That is cosmetic for what they’re really most concerned about (or should be): do I have a sound plan in place? These are the opportunities that you have now to really push into the financial planning aspect of your business.

Understand how you can bring the most help to somebody with a financial plan. Get comfortable expressing how it is you help and what they really need, and set up word pictures and great analogies so that you stay foremost in their mind after that engagement.

Related: How Advisors Can Recalibrate Now for Future Success