Cannon Financial Institute

Don’t worry, be happy: Help prospects see the value in financial advisors

Fear, concern, worry - call it what you want, but Americans today are more involved and controlling with their money. "Will I have enough money to retire?" and "How can I afford to put my kids through college?" are common questions asked by the average parent.

However, the answers can be a bit more evasive, primarily because most people are hesitant to talk about their financial situations with an advisor. Instead, they opt to tackle the important issues, such as retirement and college planning, investments and wealth management, all alone.

"Trusting someone else with your money is intimidating. Put yourself in your prospects' shoes."

As a professional, it is vital that you remember the challenges prospects face when weighing the value in a financial advisor. The decision is never so cut-and-dried for them. Quite the contrary, in fact - they run through a long list of personal and financial concerns before making the decision to trust someone else with their money.

With that in mind, your best course of action is to be proactive. Get out in front of your prospects' concerns, and you'll have a better chance of turning them into a client.

'Trust' remains key issue among prospects
At its core, wealth management is an incredibly personal issue. As a result, many clients' decisions are made on a emotional level, and often these choices are the wrong ones.

Before you can ever begin a new relationship with a client, you must earn their trust as a prospect. According to Fidelity Investments' Millennial Money Study, released in the fall of 2014, 23 percent of the survey group admitted that they trust "no one" regarding financial advice. Out of those that are trusted, parents come in first place with 33 percent of the vote.

What does this mean? It means that younger prospects are more independent when it comes to money. They prefer to handle their wealth management on their own, even though Fidelity Investments found that 39 percent of millennials still worry about their financial future. It means that they would rather talk to their parents than to a financial advisor. If you want to overcome these hurdles, you'll have to earn their trust before they ever agree to become a client.

Why prospects are wary of financial advisors
You may be asking why your prospects are so concerned about financial advisors. You know the value of your teachings, and you know that you'll be able the help your clients get on the right track.

Even so, this may not be enough for prospects. In many cases, they have preconceived notions about your services, and this has contributed to their fears and concerns. Here are three reasons why prospects may be wary of financial advisors:

  • "I've made too many mistakes" - For older prospects, their financial history may be too much to overcome. They could feel that they've made too many mistakes, and as a result are "hopeless." As you begin a relationship with a prospect, address their concerns about their past decisions. Let them know that you intend to help them improve their future, and that you aren't worried about what they've done in the past.
  • "I don't have enough money to invest." - In addition to a shaky financial history, prospects may also be worried that their bank account doesn't have enough zeros in it. Many people feel that they need a certain amount to invest - say, $500,000 or $1 million - before getting in the door with a financial advisor. Tell your prospects that there are plenty of wealth management strategies available no matter their net worth.
  • "I don't want to talk about money." - This is a big reason why prospects never turn into clients. For many, money is a very intimate issue. They would rather keep it behind closed doors in their own home, instead of talking it out with a financial advisor. If you first establish trust with your prospects, they'll be more inclined to open up about money moving forward.

Get in front of your prospects' fears
A proactive approach to prospecting will help you land clients, no matter their concerns. This can be accomplished in several key ways. "Research will help you get in front of any prospects' wealth management concerns."

For starters, do your research on each prospect. Find out their backgrounds, their financial situations and other relevant information. This will help you identify which problems prospects are facing regarding financial advisors, and how you can address those specific issues. You can't go in blind and expect to come out with a client each time.

Using this detailed information, you will be able to create a comprehensive plan for each prospect. This plan must include the best methods to land the client, including their needs, their goals and the ideal wealth management strategies. Armed with a plan, you'll have an easier time preventing their concerns from taking over. You can address prospects' key complaints before they even bring them up to you, and that will allow you to show your wealth management expertise.

Most importantly, don't let prospects' fears go unanswered. You must talk about these problems, or else you may never be able to build up the appropriate level of trust.

Be confident in your prospecting
Prospecting isn't exactly the most fun part of being a financial advisor. From cold calling to email marketing and awkward luncheons, professionals have plenty of reasons to not look forward to this task.

However, it can help to remember that the prospects themselves are often more worried than you are. They are afraid that their money will be mismanaged, that they'll be embarrassed about past mistakes or that they aren't wealthy enough to even entertain your services. Don't let them hang onto these fears. Upon your first meeting or phone call, talk to them about their problems with wealth management. Show them that you know about their objections, and that you are willing to work with them to come up with a viable solution.

Once this is complete, you could easily end up seeing more prospects turn into happy, satisfied clients in the near future.

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