Focus on Purpose: Getting Clients to Follow Your Best Advice

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_MG_5050 -h WEBEmphasizing why your clients need to do something may be the key to getting clients to do what you need them to do to better their financial future.

Daniel Crosby, Ph.D. and president at Nocturne Capital, told attendees at FPA Retreat 2016 that one way to strengthen that relationship is to emphasize your value and get clients to follow your best advice.

Crosby said a study he conducted with an unnamed insurance company found that as ultra-high net worth clients age, they streamline their lives. So instead of having three separate financial advisers, they’ll bring that down to one. So now is the time to emphasize your value and strengthen your relationship with your clients so when they’re streamlining their lives, they keep you around.

“You have to know how to compel people to do what you tell them to do,” Crosby said. “You need to have the skills and the tools to get people to follow your best advice.”

Below are some tips to help your clients follow your advice:

The Four Ps
Crosby explained four points to help entice clients to follow your advice: purpose, proficiency, people, process, and purpose again.

Purpose: Remind clients why they need to follow your advice.

“The human mind is designed to look for purpose and meaning,” Crosby explained. Reminding clients of their goals—like showing them a picture of their children or reminding them of their goal to send their children to college—helps keep them on track.

“Open and close every session with the ‘why,’” Crosby said.

Proficiency: Ensure your clients are aware of your credentials and establish your authority. People look for ways to streamline their decision-making process, and if they see you as an authority figure, they will most likely listen better.

People: Leverage social and peer pressure to encourage clients to do the right things. Give them anecdotal evidence using people who are in similar situations who did what you are recommending and had a good outcome, rather than telling them to stop doing what they’re doing.

Process: Give your clients concrete but limited options to choose from. People get overwhelmed when they have too many choices.

“Exist somewhere between asking and telling people,” Crosby said.

Purpose: Close the session by revisiting the purpose.

View Crosby’s presentation here.

Did you miss Retreat this year, or just want to register for 2017 early? Join us next year at Château Élan in North Atlanta, Georgia April 24-27, 2017. Use the code PARET17 for $100 off if you register before May 31, 2016.


Ana Trujillo
Associate Editor
Journal of Financial Planning
Denver, Colo.

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