The Financial Planning Association recently released research that exemplified how important it was to differentiate yourself from your competition. The best way to do that is to learn how to tell your story in a way that inspires current and prospective clients.
Learn how to better equip yourself to tell a story to convey to your clients how unique you are and how important it is they get their financial lives in order.
Storytelling in business, while it seems like a current fad, is a classic concept that works. This year’s FPA Retreat 2016 at the Wigwam Resort in Arizona April 25-28 will focus on that very topic.
Academy Award-winning producer Ed Saxon will teach you, in his presentation “The Power of Story,” sponsored by eMoney AdvisoreMoney Advisor, how to engage and serve your clients, how to improve your collaboration skills and how to develop and sustain relationships with clients through creative thinking.
We Are Drawn to Stories
Humans have communicated in stories since the dawn of time—when the stories were told in pictures drawn on rocks.
“If you’re not using stories to communicate to clients, prospects and colleagues, there is a good chance they’re not hearing you,” writes Carly Schulaka, editor of the Journal of Financial Planning, in the “Starting Thoughts” of the March 2016 issue.
We are drawn to stories because we are social creatures who want to relate to other people, researcher Keith Quesenberry told the Harvard Business Review. And there is a good chance that if you have purchased some service or product recently, it’s because the commercial or ad you saw for it had a good story, which brings us to the next point.
Shakespeare and Budweiser
You may not think Shakespeare and Budweiser have anything in common, but they do, according to a 2014 article in Harvard Business Review. They both can tell a great story crafted with a similar form—an exposition, rising action, climax, and a final outcome or resolution.
Budweiser probably has a leg up over Shakespeare, actually, because the company could do this all in a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl. They tell positive stories with puppies and beautiful people that have us watching while our bodies release the stress hormone cortisol during the rising action and eventually release the feel-good hormone oxytocin during the resolution, HBR reports.
Quesenberry was part of a team that conducted research published in the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice that said commercials crafted in a five-act dramatic form had the most impact on consumers. And stories that have a positive ending make an even greater impact. HBR reports that studies have shown that when we hear happy-ending stories, the release of oxytocin is more likely to make us act—whether it’s giving money to charities or buying a case of Budweiser.
Engaging with Clients’ Emotions
As much as we humans like to think was are logical and make sound decisions based on solid information, we’re actually very emotional, according to Jane Praeger, a faculty member at Columbia University’s master’s programs in strategic communications and communications practice. Praeger told the New York Women in Communications blog that we make emotional decisions, then back them up with facts.
“We use data and facts to post-rationalize the decisions our emotions have already driven us to make,” Praeger is quoted as saying in the blog by Joan Dowling. That’s why telling a story where the client is inspired or connects with you is important.
So hopefully we’ll see you at the Wigwam. Register before March 18 to get $100 off.
Journal of Financial Planning