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3 Things the Brain Needs to Take Action

by Bill Cates

[Excerpted from Radical Relevance – Sharpen Your Message, Cut Through the Noise, and Win More Ideal Clients by Bill Cates, CSP, CPAE]

When writing my book Radical Relevance, I did a little poking into neuroscience and how the brain impacts decision making.

In this article I will address three dynamics that might be keeping some of your prospects from moving forward with you.

The Brains of Your Prospects & Clients Crave Certainty

According to Jeff Hawkins, an inventor and founder of the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, “When the craving for certainty is met,” says Hawkins, “There is a sensation of reward.”

It’s no wonder, then, that we often find it challenging to get our prospects and clients to follow our recommendations. Their brains hate uncertainty. Said another way, “The devil they know is better than the devil they don’t know.”  [Check out this article Breaking Up is Hard to Do]

When a situation is unclear or uncertain, an alert goes off in the brain’s amygdala to pay more attention. That uncertainty leads to discomfort, something we tend to avoid.

This tells me that helping your prospects and clients become clear or certain about their current and/or future situation can be a relevant and compelling aspect of how you shape the messaging around your value.

As a financial professional, you generally can’t guarantee a specific financial result. So the certainty you strive for is all about clarity and confidence. Help your prospects and clients become (and remain) crystal clear about their current situation and their plan to create the outcome they desire.

Maximize Reward & Minimize Risk

In her book, Impossible to Ignore, Carmen Simon reveals the brain seeks to maximize reward and to minimize effort and risk.

How does this play out in your messaging? You have to position the final outcome – the problem solved, or goal attained – in a way that won’t require a huge amount of effort. If that just isn’t practical, you must provide them with the promise of other rewards that can come more quickly.

Your prospects will execute on your suggestions based on the effort they have to make, risk they must bear, and how long they’ll have to wait until they get rewards.

For example, you may tout the reward of enjoying a comfortable retirement without fear of running out of money. But if your prospect is younger, that reward is so far into their future, the motivation to save appropriately may wane. You can address this by creating interim milestones for the client to achieve and by finding simple ways to reward those shorter-term goals.

Want to know more about this topic, get your copy of Radical Relevance and head straight to Chapter 3.

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Hosted by Bill Cates – Referral Coach International

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
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In this high-content session, you will discover:

  • the common CPA concerns and myths about partnering with Financial Advisors.
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  • how to avoid common mistakes made by Financial Advisors when approaching CPAs.
  • how to effectively lead your CPAs to uncover active-referral opportunities.
  • how to develop your CPA relationships into truly prosperous, long-term, and mutually beneficial partnerships.


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