Why Planning Language Matters

John always says that the difference between six figure advisors and seven figure advisors are powerful words.  A single word has the power to change the course of a discussion.  It can change the mood of a conversation and influence the motivation of those you are engaging in dialogue.

Take the word because for example.  Social psychologist Ellen Langer found that when the word because followed a request that over 90% of people would comply as opposed to just making a request.  People would even comply with the request if the reason given didn’t really make sense.

For instance when an actor tried to cut in line to make copies and said, “Excuse me, I have 5 pages.  May I use the Xerox machine, because I have to make copies?” was nearly as effective as when they said, “Excuse me, I have 5 pages.  May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”

In other words, it was the word because that made the difference.

When the actors made the request only saying, “Excuse me, I have 5 pages.  May I use the Xerox machine?” They did NOT have nearly the success in cutting in line.

What that means for advisors is that our words matter during client presentations.  The words we use could actually be negative triggers for clients versus positive triggers.  We have found that prospects are more inclined to “invest” in planning rather than pay a fee for planning.

Here’s a great blog post that you should review because it can help your presentations.  It’s titled, “The Big List of 189 Words That Convert: Write Copy That Gets Your Customer’s Attention Every Time“.  Be sure not to miss the MOST Overused Buzzwords on LinkedIn.

I have talked about life insurance legend, Ben Feldman, in the past.  If you haven’t heard about Ben I would highly recommend you look up the book written about him called, The Feldman Method by Andrew Thomson. 

It’s pretty simple…Mr. Feldman was writing over $50,000,000 of life insurance death benefit per year in 1966 in a town of less than 30,000 people.  How many of us are doing that today?  Ben’s secret was that he crafted and strung together powerful words.  He would practice his presentations and the effects of using different words, pauses and exclamations during his sales presentation.

He had power phrases that he used often such as:

  • You don’t need more life insurance but you will need more money.
  • If you don’t have a key man worth insuring, you don’t have a key man.
  • A man needs credit to live but cash to die.
  • Your spouse should be left something to take care of them, not something they need to take care of…

It was powerful words and phrases partnered with a burning desire that fueled Ben’s success.  You can still pick up the book at The MDRT Store…grab it here.

We understand the power of words so much so that we have transcribed every client meeting from the initial on-boarding meeting we call The Foundation Dialogue to the annual review meeting we call The Custom Wealth Inspection. 

It’s our firm belief that the advisors that follow a script that answers objections and leads clients rather than being reactionary are more successful than their unscripted counter parts.  Have you rehearsed and practiced all of your client presentations?  Have you analyzed the words and phrases that you use repeatedly?

One argument we have heard in the past against having a script is that it feels canned.  We would agree if you didn’t practice but it becomes more powerful when you know your presentation cold…when you own it.

Imagine going to see any Broadway musical and being able to tell that the actors were improvising or the Guide for the Jungle Cruise in Walt Disney World forgot his or her lines?  By having a script that answers all of the objections and provides the motivation to engage you, gives you confidence.  With that confidence if a curve-ball is tossed your way it’s much easier to deal with it and get back on track.


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