Real or Plastic?

This post appeared on The Advisor Sherpa Blog - March 2, 2012.

This past week, fellow Sherpa John Resnick hosted our monthly Sherpa webinar on the topic of CONSULTATIVE CONVERSATION (this content is posted on The Advisor Lab under The Advisor Sherpa tab). 

Listening to John’s talk, I was reminded how important it is to have what I call REAL and AUTHENTIC conversations with clients and prospects.

Of course, these original notions - REAL and AUTHENTIC - now seem so often used that they could border on being trite and cliché. Perhaps they’ve even crossed the threshold to join the immensely tired “peace of mind”. 

Sadly, many in our industry still operate as though slick packaging, cute slogans and sensational taglines somehow connect with clients and prospects.  

John and I refer to this approach as the PLASTIC BANANA STRATEGY.  All of us remember the bowls of waxy, plastic fruit that sat on every grandparent’s kitchen table.  The fruit looked good; but there was only one problem--it wasn't real.

I once worked for a guy that mandated the sales and marketing team purchase expensive watches such as Rolexes and Breitlings. And, if you couldn't afford one, you were told to purchase a fake or knock off.  Real or Fake, the point was to create the illusion with the watches on our wrist that we were successful and “rolling in it.”  

Shed the formulaic, plastic sales speak.  Invest your focus and energy on connecting at an emotional level around the meaning and purpose of what’s important to your client.  Doing so may be uncomfortable and risky but will result in a conversation and relationship built on a foundation of TRUST.

© 2012, The Advisor Lab. The opinion in this post is that of the author and may not reflect the opinions of The Advisor Lab or any of its affiliated companies. This post is not to be construed as investment advice.

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