Increase the Emotional Connection with Your Prospects

December 16, 2014

by Dan Solin

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To convert prospects into clients, you need to make an emotional connection. Lecturing, educating, presenting data or otherwise demonstrating your superior expertise in financial planning and investments will not achieve that goal.

Blair Kidwell, an assistant professor of marketing at the Ohio State University, and Jonathan Hasford, an assistant professor of marketing at Florida International University, discussed the importance of emotional ability and non-verbal communication in an article that I recommend every advisor read.

Kidwell and Hasford believe a salesperson with high emotional ability is “significantly more likely to influence a customer.” They define “emotional ability” as “the ability of an individual to use emotional information to achieve desired outcomes.” They present four areas in which emotional ability influences sales:

  1. Perception of similarities: You’re off to a good start if you and your prospect perceive yourselves as being on the same social level. If you have additional similarities or share interests the possibility of mutually positive feelings increases.

Physical characteristics like hair length, race or gender also play an important role in how you will be perceived. As a general rule, we tend to like people who look, act and talk like us.

  1. Inspirational appeals: An inspirational appeal is defined as “a request or proposal that arouses enthusiasm by appealing to a target’s values, ideas, and inspirations.” When used in a non-manipulative manner, such appeals are highly relevant to advisors. For example, showing a prospect how she can leave a charitable legacy may resonate far more profoundly than discussing historical risk and return data.

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