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5 Ways to Use Short Stories to Attract Ideal Clients

by Bill Cates

How many times have you heard that using short stories in the client acquisition process is an effective strategy?  Probably a lot.  So, are you using stories? Have you developed a small inventory that you can apply to the right situation?

2 Benefits of Using Short Stories

  1. They bring your value proposition to life. If your value positioning statement isn’t crystal clear and/or filled with jargon, your prospects may be a bit lost. A good short story adds context and clarity.

  2. Your prospects’ brain loves stories. Thanks to a process called Neural Coupling, a story activates parts of the brain that allows the listener to turn the story into their own ideas and experiences. The benefits you offer as told through stories become more relevant to your prospects.

5 Places Stories Can Be Used To Boost Client Acquisition

I’ve identified 5 places in your client acquisition process where an interesting and relevant story can help you seal the deal.

  1. Client Focused Why Stories – This is a quick story that brings to life why you believe in your value. It could be why you got into this business or something you’ve observed with one or more of your clients after being in the business. It could be why you’re with your current firm, why you went independent, or why you believe what you do is more important now than ever before.

    We recommend using this story with prospects in your first or second meeting. It will help them engage with you, win their business, and become more referable. Here’s more information on the Client-Focused Why:

  1. Differentiation Stories – Creating differentiation that is meaningful in the eyes of your prospects and clients is not always easy to do. Whatever you choose to hang your differentiation hat on, you will gain more traction if you bring it to life with an example – a short story.

    Remember – Only differences that matter… matter. In other words, when you talk about your differences make sure to tie it to specific benefits that are relevant and desired by your ideal prospects and clients.

  2. Benefit Stories – Most financial professionals talk in terms of features and rarely translate those features into clear advantages and tangible benefits that their prospects want. You should never assume that when you talk about any aspect of your business that your prospects and clients will automatically understand the benefits to them.

    Here’s a simple example. The fact that you do financial planning is a feature of your business. The clients having that plan gives them an advantage – with that plan they make better decisions. The benefit is better decisions, more clarity, confidence, and peace of mind.

    Having one or more stories that paint this picture will help your prospects and clients fully understand the benefits you can bring to them.

  3. Transformational Stories – If you bring a robust suite of services to your clients – not just one or two products – you have the ability to transform their lives – financially and in other ways.

    For example, I just interviewed a successful advisor that helps his clients accomplish items on their bucket list. He learns about their dreams and then supports them in various ways. Sometimes he’ll make sure they set aside money to fund a dream. Sometimes he just keeps nudging them to get them into action.

    And since money intersects all aspects of one’s life, when you transform their financial life, you transform other parts of their life.

    What short stories can you share that demonstrate your ability to transform their life?

  4. Recommendation Stories – I could have called this “Closing Stories,” i.e., stories you use to close the new business. But I just don’t like the word “closing” when it comes to bringing on new clients.

    I’ve found that one technique that works quite well is to make a recommendation that asks them to make a decision.

    George and Martha – Based on all that we’ve discussed today, here’s what I recommend we do next. Let’s get started on your financial plan. You are going to learn so much in the process and through implementation of the plan, you’re going to gain a huge amount of clarity and confidence toward your financial future. Do you see any reason why we shouldn’t get this started right away?

    So where does a story fit into this context. You can tell a story of a prospect who did exactly as you had recommended and the benefits of that experience. I suggest you tell this story before you make your next-step recommendation. They will be inspired by the story and, therefore, more likely to follow your lead.

Action Steps

  1. With your team, start building an inventory of these short stories. Write them out in just enough detail so you can remember them and keep them on the short side. No long and rambling stories allowed!

Grab my 1-Minute Case Study Guide here:

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