Do You Use This Simple 2000 Year Old Technique to Overcome People’s Secret Objections To Financial Planning?

Here’s a great story.

A few days ago I visited our local pastor. He’s like the ideal grandfather. Old, old-fashioned, always a friendly smile.

Can you picture it?

I didn’t expect to learn how to overcome my prospect’s objections during this short visit.

But when he started talking, I was blown away.

The old pastor had a challenge to convince my son Frenk to be interested in taking the Holy Communion.

However, there’s a problem. Frenk is a “screenager”. Married to his iPad and if I say something wrong, it’s “Daaaddddd, duhhhh”.

You know what I mean…

So, I was looking forward to the session with the friendly pastor. I was curious to see if he would be able to convince Frenk. He isn’t a baby anymore who you can just sprinkle with baptised water and then call him God’s child.

Because Frenk has to agree first….

And Frenk had his doubts: “Dad, is this really necessary?”

Good luck, mister pastor….

So, the pastor took off. Where I expected a tedious hour, I was impressed. Really impressed.

Because he used a technique that can only be used when you really understand your potential clients.

The pastor knew that if he wanted to make Frenk believe what he was going to say, he had to take away Frenk’s objections. Because otherwise he’d never say: “Yes, the Holy Communion is important to me”.

And it turned out that mister pastor knew his prospect’s objections all too well. It became very clear to me that this old and friendly man was a real persuasion-master. Here’s how he wiped the objections away:

Objection 1: Does God even exist? I’ve never seen him

The toughest I guess. However, the pastor had an answer which refuted the objection in no-time.

This is what he said:

“You’ve also never seen trust, but it does exist. You trust your mom and dad, and they trust you. You can’t see it, but you know it’s there.

It’s the same with love. You can’t see it, but you know it’s there. Your mom and dad love you. You know that, but you can’t see it.”

BAM!

This man had learned quite a bit about psychology in half a century. So, I sat up, because he moved on to objection number two.

Objection 2: Faith isn’t important

How he refuted this one, was beautiful. The pastor asked:

“Do you know how long it has been since Jesus died?”

Blank stare…

Next question: “What year is it now?”

Frenk: “2015”.

Pastor: “Did you know that 2015 years ago our era began because Jesus was born back then?”

Frenk: Breathless and thinking: “That’s impressive.”

The pastor used one of the “weapons of influence” professor Robert Cialdini wrote about in his bestselling book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition. I’m talking about the “authority-weapon”. Because the era is something everybody uses, so Jesus must be important.

Objection 3: I don’t know anyone who is a catholic

Also here the pastor used one of Robert Cialdini’s weapons: social proof. He started with a question:

“How many people are here on earth?”

Frenk screamed: “100,000 million!”

The pastor laughed: “You’re almost right Frenk. It’s 7 billion. But let me ask you this: “Did you know that out of those 7 billion people, 2 million believe in the catholic faith?”

Frenk: “WOW……that’s a lot.”

What the pastor was doing

Now, the pastor probably didn’t read Robert Cialdini’s book to convince children to believe in the catholic faith. Neither did he consciously use a persuasion-technique. However, the 2000 year old catholic church does win the souls of their “prospects” in a way you also see with top salespeople.

How?

By removing their secret objections.

Although Frenk didn’t tell the pastor about his objections, the friendly pastor already KNEW about Frenks’ objections because he really UNDERSTOOD his target audience.

He addressed the objections, and them took them away. So that Frenk was instantly convinced.

Now, let’s take this back to you.

You might know about your prospect’s objections too. For example, you might know that most people don’t understand the real benefits of financial planning.

But let me ask you this: Have you ever had a prospect in your office that said: “I don’t understand the benefits of your service?”

I guess not. And why is that?

Because people hate to admit that they don’t know. Because that would be like saying: “Hey, I’m dumb.”

However, the thing is: they do think it.  

They do think: “What’s in it for me?” or “How is this service going to help me?”

Therefore, wouldn’t it be a delightful surprise for your prospect that you take his or her secret suspicions away? So that they can feel safe and move on?

Because if you don’t overcome these objections, it might harden into a statement. Which is suicide for engaging your prospects and growing your business.

The question is: How?

Well, here’s the answer: By telling an I-Know-What-You-Are-Thinking-Story.

As Annette Simmons points out in her brilliant book Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact you need to use an I-Know-What-You-Are-Thinking-Story to overcome objections when they are still soft – merely  a “sneaking suspicion”.

Here’s Annette:

I-Know-What-You-Are-Thinking-Stories not only overcome unspoken objections without coming off as oppositional but may actually validate the objection as reasonable in the first place.

You see, humans hunger for validation. It doesn’t cost you a thing, and most of the time you get tangible concessions in return.

However, failing to validate another’s point of view can cost you twice the time, money, or effort you might otherwise spend with this person.

Validation is the primary dynamic of the I-Know-What-You-Are-Thinking-Story. This kind of story validates a parked opinion with a “get out of parking free” stamp that frees a former opponent to move away from a parked opinion without feeling like it cost them their dignity.

If you don’t validate another’s perceptions as legitimate, your story can leave people feeling insulted, ignored or both.

Therefore it is vital that you first understand and communicate your understanding of your prospect’s secret objections. If you move too quickly, you lose a very important leverage point that could otherwise help you build a sense of common ground.

How To Tell Your Story To Overcome Your Prospect’s Secret Objections

Let’s go back to the pastor. Remember when he asked Frenk if he knew that out of 7 billion people, 2 billion already believe in the catholic faith?

The pastor was sending a really powerful message. Why?

Because he was using “social proof” (2 billion people).

But there’s another important consideration that’s powerful here. It concerns the framing of the story. And it’s about revealing how common, or uncommon, the behavior you’re advocating is.

For example: Should the pastor highlight the positive aspects of those who believe in the catholic faith (2 billion) or would it be more effective if he instead emphasized the negative aspects of those who don’t (5 billion)?

According to psychologist Hart Blanton, the successful framing of your story will depend on your audience’s perceptions of the relevant social norms. It turns out that the more common the audience perceive some kind of social norm (such as believing in catholic faith), the more they are influenced by a story that negatively depicts those who do not believe in catholic faith.

Now, the pastor knew that his audience (my son Frenk) didn’t know many people who are believers in the catholic faith. So, the social norm is uncommon. Or in other words: in Frenk’s world most people don’t believe in the catholic faith thus they have a negative perception. This means that when the pastor frames his story to accentuate the positive characteristics, the story has a more powerful effect on your prospect.

And the pastor did right. Because he framed his story around the 2 billion people who do believe in the catholic faith instead of the 5 billion people who don’t.

Again, let’s take this back to you.

Let’s say that one of your target audience’s secret objections is that people don’t trust financial planners. So, in this case the social norm here is uncommon. Or in other words: in todays world most people don’t trust financial planners, which is a negative perception.

This means that your story is far more effective if you frame it in a positive way.

Something like: “People who hire me feel more confident about their own future” instead of “If you don’t hire me, you won’t feel secure about your own future.”

Now, you might need some help with framing your story.

Here’s What To Do Next

The first step is to identify hidden objections held by your target audience. Most of the time, it doesn’t even require research. Because you probably already know what “secret” objections your prospects hold against you and your service. And that’s what I’d like to ask you about.

And if you help me, I’ll help you to remove one of your prospect’s biggest objections for hiring you. Here’s the objection:

What is financial planning? I don’t know how I can benefit from it

So, if you want to know how to instantly remove this important objection, please answer the following question:

What’s the biggest secret objection YOUR prospects have about your financial planning service?

Please, answer this question by leaving your comment – here below – and you’ll receive the link to a free PDF where I show you How To Instantly Remove The “I-Don’t-Know-What-The-Benefit-Of-Financial-Planning-Is-Objection”

Thank you for your comment.

Let’s make financial planning matter.

Ronald

 

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Comments

  1. Clients wonder what they are going to be sold and are concerned that with the commonwealth bank owing our dealer can we be trsuted.

  2. “Why do I need this service? The people I know don’t have a financial planner, so why should I need one?”

  3. is this going to be worth the cost?
    what will I get out of this, and how much is it going to cost me?

  4. Hi Ronald, I think prospects feel that the costs will outweigh the value.

  5. What is this going to cost me?

  6. Insurance Agents and Mutual Fund Distributors provide Financial Planning for Free, Why should I pay you for the same ?

  7. It all sounds and looks very good but how much is it going to cost me?

  8. How do I know I’ll be better off with your advice?

  9. How will I benefit from this service?

  10. In what way will I get better after having your advice?

  11. I can do that myself…

  12. “I understand the concept of what you’re trying to do, but I don’t think I need it right now” i.e. it’s too much money!

  13. They’re scared, fearful, panicky and anxious about even looking at their finances. They don’t know what the numbers mean and they totally lack confidence.

  14. What happens if you’re not here : you retire, you die, you move; What am I getting myself into?

  15. I don’t understand the difference between your service and thst of my existing adviser.

  16. There are a lot of other questions that come first.
    1. You are not wearing a $600 suit or driving a luxury sedan. You must not be very good at what you do.
    2. I’ve never heard of ———— and neither have any of my friends. Why should I trust you?
    3. Are you going to rip me off?
    4. What the heck is wealth management?

  17. They’re scared, fearful, panicky and anxious about even looking at their finances. They don’t know what the numbers mean and they totally lack confidence

  18. As a very young-looking 62 year old with extensive industry experience and advanced industry credentials, I wonder whether prospects are thinking “is he too old to become our financial planner now?”.

  19. Amy Parrish says:

    What is the cost? and what I am going to get for my money?

  20. Is the benefit worth the cost?

  21. Jim Kampetis says:

    I can do my investments online for free. What other services do you offer for you fees?

  22. I could do this myself so how do I know your help will be worth the money?

  23. Thomas Duffy says:

    I think prospects secret objection is more a feeling of “I should know this” which leads them to think they shouldn’t have to pay me to “know it” for them. They ignore the fact that nobody taught them how money works. No one spent the time to tie all the pieces of a comprehensive FP together indicating how a decision in one area affects outcomes in multiple other areas and that decision making has to be integrated. They are paying us for our unique ability to integrate all the decisions to maximize successful outcomes.

  24. I can’t touch it, feel it or smell it. I’m nervous about buying intangible things as they are difficult to value until after I’ve bought them and experienced them. My friends and I don’t talk about this stuff, so I don’t know what’s the right price and what value I will receive. I can’t easily compare prices and value like I can with a TV for instance.

  25. How do I know I’ll benefit from working with you when I could do this myself. How do I know your help will be worth the money?

  26. We had a plan done ten years ago.

  27. I understand what you’re trying to do, but I think I can save money by doing this myself.

  28. The objection in the prospect’s mind is how am I different from the 2-3 other advisors that they previously had who did not help their portfolios move forward for a variety of reasons—- costs, lack of attention, lack of education, no contact, bad investment choices, etc.

  29. We have enough, we’ll never out so I’ll just keep doing it my way.

  30. Are you going to get me more in returns that what I’m paying you? / Are you the best value?

  31. We won’t be engaging your services at this stage as we need to think about our future directions and will call you when we are ready.

  32. I don’t know whether the amount i am going to invest will justify the cost of having a financial planner

  33. I could probably do this myself and you want to charge me what!

  34. Marc Sanders says:

    “Why should I listen to you? My stockbroker said he’ll get me a 10% to 12% a year until I retire.”

  35. Am I going to recoup the fee I pay and be better off financially after fees?

  36. My friend/aunty/uncle/mother used a financial planner years ago and they lost everything in the Global Crisis

  37. Jeff london says:

    Thank you gear idea

  38. We have enough so we don´t need a plan.

  39. It’s a matter of prioritizing – it’s not top of mind and most important – time is the issue! Like knowing you need a will, but waiting forever to have one done.

    Also, lack of understanding stemming from the industry itself that because of so many people in the industry posing to be financial experts they themselves don’t even know what they are doing so how will they or you ever understand what you have to do for me?

  40. “I understand the value of independant advice but I really trust my bank”

  41. When a client says: “After speaking with my stepfather, I have decided to work with him for my future financial needs and will not be renewing our contract at this time”. Having advisors in the family (even those obtained through marriage and have not been offering regular advice over the years), still always seems to move us from the top position on their list.

  42. How can I trust you when you are so young?

  43. Financial Planning? Gosh I just did that with Quicken and I think I’m going to be just fine.

  44. I am not sure it’s the right time for me to take on a Planner.

  45. Are you really giving me advice that is the best for me, or just trying to sell me something?

  46. I never heard of that (annuity w/ lifetime income, IUL, etc.) I want to do more research/send me more information

  47. How do I know you won’t fleece me like all financial advisors do according to what I read in the newspapers?

  48. I have a money manager. What’s the difference between him/her and your financial planning services?

  49. What will it cost me in total and what’s in it for me?

  50. Is it really worth paying somone to do this?

  51. I really don’t understand what Financial Planners do and certainly don’t want to pay you anything when I can get it for free.

  52. “I asked my boss/friend/dad/dentist and they don’t think I need that now.”

  53. Is the benefit worth the price?

  54. How financial planning will matter in my life?

  55. “Why should I pay for financial advice when insurance agents give advice for free?”

  56. That’s great but can you just tell me what projections my investments will make

  57. “Well I’ll think about it and I’ll let you know ……………….” In other words no thank you, because they canot overlook what they going into and they are probably scared that they are going to pay too much.

  58. I do not have that much money. Is it really worth it for me to hire a financial planner. After all, financial planning is for the super rich.

  59. He’s not interested in me, he just wants to sell me something!

  60. My insurance agent said he’s a wealth planner and life planner.
    How’s that different from you, financial planner?

  61. I don’t really trust your profession and in any case why should I pay you when I can do it myself?

  62. Sadly there are so many answers to this question, however more often than not it comes down to the fact that as much as we would like to, we cannot help everyone. I am reminded of Jerry McGuire’s comment, help me help you.

  63. Reading these comments reminds me of the amount of work authentic financial planners have to do in helping the public understand why genuine financial planning really matters.

  64. Why do i need financial planning?

  65. 1. Financial planning is time consuming. We live in an instant gratification culture. People don’t want to invest the time.
    2. Financial planning requires that people dive into a subject they don’t know. Its intimidating and threatens men in particular.
    3. People are comfortable wandering aimlessly. The less they know, the less they have to worry about.

  66. The timing isn’t right. Is it ever though?

  67. Pierce Lee says:

    Why should I buy from you?

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