In our last blog, we discussed how in order to make a difference in the lives of their clients, advisors must be proactive in their approach to getting owners to act and begin the planning process. Providing valuable content on a consistent basis is one such way to get the attention of clients. While this task may seem daunting at first, it becomes a lot easier once you identify certain trends and common characteristics of your client base. Depending on the type of client, you should know (or find out) what motivates this individual, what is most important to them, and how they will respond to your leadership style. Knowing your audience is necessary to know how to work with them. The wrong approach could lead to your client deciding to work with someone else.
Let's walk through some of the other ways to get the attention of your business owner clients.
Leverage Peers Through Business Owner Survey Reports
Business owners are very peer-aware. They know a lot about what's going on with other businesses in their industry, in their community, and around the world. They are typically very interested in what their peers are doing successfully because then they don’t have to reinvent the wheel to have similar successes.
A good way to gain insights into businesses and their experiences in current markets is through surveys. Surveys help you gather information on common challenges others may be facing and outcomes of peer success stories. Statistical data and facts tend to get business owners' attention in a more impactful way than just telling an owner what they should be doing in their business.
There are a variety of places to gather intel on the business owner market. BEI, for example, conducts a biannual business owner survey. Our Business Owner Survey allows us to better understand the level of planning owners have done for their eventual exits and who they are currently talking to about those plans.
Inspire Action Through Storytelling
Storytelling is a great strategy to build a deeper connection with your audience by putting important issues that business owners face in a relatable context. Business psychology has proven that understanding your peers' experiences, and then applying them to yourself, has a completely different effect on the way we think about the issues at hand.
If you can explain the reality of a business owner's situation through a similar client story, present a solution, and highlight the consequences that might arise if the problem is not taken care of, you can show a client how you are the person to guide them to their own success story.
Not sure where to start? That’s ok. Just spend some time thinking about what your clients want, the common problems your clients face that are keeping them from what they want, and how you have guided them with a plan to transform their businesses and their lives. Once you have that information, the story will come together.
Demonstrate Magnitude Through Case Studies
Demonstrating magnitude through case studies outlines common issues business owners might find themselves in and highlights the consequences that might occur if an adequate plan is not in place. This strategy can sometimes be tricky to deliver. With the use of case studies, you can emphasize the magnitude of the situation by comparing your client’s scenario to a similar scenario where an owner chose to not act in time. You can also share how you have seen other owners execute a successful plan and the benefits they have seen from this plan.
Depending on your advisor style, you can take any of these approaches and twist them into the outcome you are looking for. Are you the type of advisor that likes to create a more positive or negative mindset for your clients in order to motivate them to act? Fear or encouragement can both be motivators depending on the owner and the delivery, and it’s important to keep a balance between the two.