How To Make Your Message Persuasive


How to Make Your Message Persuasive

May 12, 2015

by Dan Solin

PDF | Page 2

Corsair Capital Adds 17.5% In 2021, Notes “Change In Leadership” In Markets

According to a recent interview, Corsair Capital's founder Jay Petschek did not plan to be a hedge fund manager. After holding various roles on Wall Street, Petschek decided to launch the fund in January 1991, when his family and friends were asking him to buy equities on their behalf. He realized the best structure for Read More

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

We all want to make our message persuasive, but few advisors pay attention to the peer-reviewed studies identifying the most efficient methods for doing so.

This research should be of keen interest to investment advisors. Your livelihood depends on your ability to persuade prospects to entrust you with their assets. It’s important to be aware of the research that could assist you.

A recent study by Kurt Carlson of the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business and Suzanne Shu of UCLA summarized approximately 100 years of research on what makes a message persuasive. Their paper also addressed the question of how many positive claims should be included in a message when the recipient is aware of the intention to persuade.

The data on persuasion often runs contrary to the way most advisors conduct prospect meetings. Fortunately, evidence-based principles of persuasion are easy to understand and implement.

Summary of research

It’s not surprising that messages from credible sources are deemed to be more persuasive. While this makes perfect sense, few advisors take full advantage of this basic principle. Rather than going to the whiteboard and giving a discourse on the merits of active and passive management, your prospect will likely find it more persuasive that Warren Buffett is a proponent of index-based investing.

The research also indicates that easier-to-process messages are perceived by recipients as more persuasive. This finding is significant for advisors because investing and financial planning are complex subjects that can easily overwhelm prospects. Distilling your message into sound bites will be more effective than inundating your prospect with data.

“Two-sided” messages, in which a perceived negative is combined with a positive attribute, can be very effective.

This observation is particularly relevant when dealing with fee issues. You are currently under pressure to lower fees in order to be competitive with discount advisors and “robo-advisors.” Instead of being defensive about your fees, take advantage of this research on “two-sided” messages by stating something like: “Our higher fee structure permits us to provide comprehensive financial planning services to a small number of clients.”

By framing a negative (your higher fee structure) with a positive (more comprehensive service to a smaller number of clients), your prospects are more likely to believe the positive message.

PDF | Page 2

Remember, if you have a question or comment, send it to [email protected]

Contact Us | Privacy Policy

© 2015, Advisor Perspectives, Inc. All rights reserved.

Updated on

The Advisory Profession’s Best Web Sites by Bob Veres His firm has created more than 2,000 websites for financial advisors. Bart Wisniowski, founder and CEO of Advisor Websites, has the best seat in the house to watch the rapidly evolving state-of-the-art in website design and feature sets in this age of social media, video blogs and smartphones. In a recent interview, Wisniowski not only talked about the latest developments and trends that he’s seeing; he also identified some of the advisory profession’s most interesting and creative websites.
Previous article Activist Stocks: Dupont, Spectrum; Ashland; CDK Global; iPass
Next article Seth Klarman On The Arrogance Of Value Investing – Barron’s 1999

No posts to display