When I tell advisors about the critical importance of making an “emotional connection” with prospects and clients, no one pushes back. And for good reason. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, “[A]fter a major bank introduced a credit card for Millennials that was designed to inspire emotional connection, use among the segment increased by 70% and new account growth rose by 40%.” The article provides other examples as well.
Adopting the goal isn’t good enough. How do you implement it?
Find an “emotional motivator”
The HBR article recommends “learning about … customers’ emotional motivators and conducting experiments to leverage them, later scaling up from there.” Here are examples that may be relevant for you:
Confidence in the future: Many prospects and clients are worried about their future. They want to be sure they won’t run out of money in retirement and will have sufficient resources to provide for their loved ones after their death. If you can give them that confidence, you have tapped into a powerful emotion.
A sense of well-being: We all want to feel we are in control. For your clients, this means having a plan, implementing it and monitoring compliance with it.
Success in life: When you help your clients plan for the rest of their lives, and the legacy they want to leave, you give meaning to their lives and help them “find worth that goes beyond financial or socioeconomic measures.”
Being socially responsible: Some of your clients want to invest in a way that is reflective of their values. Helping them achieve these goals validates their belief that they are acting in a way that is both socially and fiscally responsible.
Elicit emotional motivators
There’s a disarmingly simple way to determine emotional motivators: Ask.
Yet, in my experience, some advisors are so consumed with conveying information they fail to ask basic questions like: What’s important to you? How important is leaving a legacy? What are your thoughts on leaving a significant amount of money to your children? Have you considered “socially responsible” investing?
Avoid cliché questions like: What keeps you up at night?
Listen carefully to the responses. Then ask thoughtful follow-up questions. By showing a genuine and sincere interest in what’s being said, you will build a rapport and discover the emotions motivating them.
The rest is simple: Once you’ve identified them, connect by offering a plan.
Resource of the week:
I recommend the article in the Harvard Business Review referenced above: The New Science of Customer Emotions, by Scott Magida, Alan Zofras and Daniel Leemon.