FOR RIAs: How I learned to use TRUST to close 70% of my new client conversations.
I am going to share something that could profoundly change how you look at your clients, prospects, and in turn, how they view you for the better.
“When it rains it pours!”
I don’t know how it happened, but one day I woke up and had very sharp pain in my shoulder. Over the next month, it got progressively worse and worse. After 2 months I could barely move it. I decided it was time to see a doctor. I had been putting it off because the thought of surgery or any type of rehab at that time was not in the cards. Work was busy, family life with four kids is always busy, and our youngest son was through treatment for a life-threatening illness (he is better now).
I set up an appointment with a local sports medicine doctor. The day came, and if I am being 100% honest, I had a little anxiety around the visit. This stemmed from the possible diagnosis. Surgery or lots of PT were not options with our schedule at the time. I kept thinking about the life impact of either of those prescriptions.
I was wrong.
Dr. Brad started by asking a bunch of questions about how this might have happened, when, where, what, previous injuries, etc…
You know the drill.
If you have ever been to the doctor, or taken one of your kids, you are likely familiar with the process.
This led to a very candid conversation I wasn’t expecting.
“Frozen shoulder,” Dr. Brad said…
I had no idea what he was talking about. He explained what it was and said, “For guys your age it’s fairly common.”
He followed with “a shot of cortisone should fix it in a few days”.
My initial thought was how is that even possible. A shot? One shot?
Look, I hate shots. I hate shots like Indiana Jones hates snakes.
I asked if there was another option.
His response was simple, unemotional, and directly related to the outcome I desired.
“How long do you want to be in pain with a non-working shoulder?” “It’s this or 8-10 weeks of PT.”
“I will take the shot,” I said. Two days later it was like I got a new shoulder, no surgery, no PT.
Now I share this with you to remind you what diagnosis and prescription sound like.
If you understand how to diagnose and prescribe, then you will do a lot more business than you are currently doing.
In the advisory industry today, trust, more than portfolio performance or your process, will be the determining factor of whether or not a potential client decides to work with you. Click Here for a video with the supporting research (there is an opt-in to view it).
For many practitioners, the belief is that a better pitch, or detailed explanations about their client process, or their credentials make a difference. The truth is these things are not of critical importance to the client.
I used to think the same thing was true in my consulting business. Big Pitch, followed by Why We Are Great…yadda yadda yadda…no one cared. I still got business but something in the back of my head was telling me it could be better.
After completely burning my client process to the ground and rebuilding it using a new method I developed called TRUST StackingTM. I went from 10-20% of opportunities saying “Yes” to 60-70% saying “Yes”. My deals closed faster too, typically in one to two days vs weeks or months, and without lots of follow up.
How the dramatic shift?
I shifted my positioning from being a commodity to that of a specialist. I shifted from being one out of a thousand options to one of one.
Then I started teaching this to some others….Guess what?…The same thing happened to them.
Here is the framework for using TRUST StackingTM in your business. There are 5 phases.
TRUST StackingTM should be used during meetings with clients, referral sources (CPA’s, Accountants, etc…) and meetings with potential clients. The purpose is to get clarity on what the client wants, desires, and needs help with. This also eliminates your wants and desires from the conversation.
Often, what the client needs can be diametrically opposed to what the client wants. You need a process to uncover what that is. Most people won’t tell you right away. If you add your wants into the mix, you will sabotage your opportunity to help.
To get this right you need to remove any emotional connection to the decision your clients must make when presented with your understanding of the problem and the plan to fix it.
How to use TRUST StackingTM in your client process:
Step 1: Tell – Set your agenda for the meeting. This is your agenda, and you should define what the rest of your time together will look like.
Step 2: Recon – Find out what is going on with the client. If this is a potential client, you will have a bunch of questions around all areas that impact their financial life.
Step 3: Understand – Review what you have discovered during the Recon stage. This is where you help the client, or potential client, see clearly the impact of where they are.
Step 4: Strategy – Identify and create a plan to address what needs to be fixed or moved forward.
Step 5: Take Away – People tend to move toward things that move away from them.
The Stacking part of this comes in the form of a simple but powerful marketing system that works in connection with the TRUST consultation. The two were designed to work symbiotically but they can also be used independently of one another.
When you get TRUST StackingTM right, you will:
- not have to defend your fees.
- You will likely be able to increase your fees in some cases,
- naturally get referrals,
- get most or all investable assets to manage from your clients.
People naturally trust a specialist. You are a consultant, a specialist, not a stock broker.