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Selling vs. Influencing: Navigating the World of Client Relationships

In the world of professional services, particularly in fields like estate planning and financial advising, the process of working with clients goes beyond mere transactions. It involves building relationships, earning trust, and guiding individuals toward sound decisions.

In this blog, we'll dive deep into the crucial distinctions between selling your services and influencing your clients.

The Difference Between Selling and Influencing

When you think of a 'salesman', what do you picture? A person going door to door selling vacuum cleaners? The stereotypical overzealous used-car guy?

The point is that salespeople are rarely looked at in a positive light. Their job is to argue and convince.

If you're an attorney, you're likely great at arguing. But you shouldn't be arguing with your clients.

Influencing, on the other hand, takes the stress and combativeness out of selling. Through effective influencing and trust-building, your prospects already come to you pre-sold. They've either been attracted to your expertise or have opted to seek your advice. Perhaps they attended a seminar you hosted, shifted through your website, or heard about your practice from a friend.

The dynamic isn't about pushing a sale but rather facilitating a client's informed decisions. You're not shoving statistics and information down their throat, but rather facilitating your client's self-discovery and understanding.

Creating Content to Build Influence

Effective advisors create content and provide insights that clients can engage with when it's convenient for them, building trust and providing value over time. This content is a means to influence by demonstrating your expertise and allowing clients to explore your insights on their terms.

Here are some content ideas to start with:

  • Blog posts

  • Press releases and appearing on local TV stations

  • Podcasts (hosting your own and being a guest on others)

  • Publishing a book

  • Releasing free PDF guides and white papers online

  • Hosting webinars or workshops

  • Curating and sharing relevant news and articles on social media

These forms of content enable you to share your knowledge and expertise, demonstrate value, and build trust - all without a hard sell.

The Power of Humility and Trust

Although you want to be seen as an expert, admitting when you don't have all the answers is just as important. This is where your support network comes into play. Clients will appreciate your honesty when you tell them that you have a process and a team in place to find the right solutions.

Wealth Solutions Network acts as your support group throughout your financial advocacy journey. Our mentors can sit in on client meetings with you and provide you with valuable insights until you are comfortable doing it alone.

This approach is similar to how a doctor might refer a patient to a specialist for a particular health concern. When clients recognize that you're genuinely working in their best interest, they're more likely to trust your guidance and do business with you.

The Mindset Shift

Becoming an influence in your community doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and patience to cultivate relationships with clients who will ultimately trust your advice over the long term.

In the world of estate planning and financial advising, sales become secondary to the genuine connection and guidance provided to clients. The key is to empower clients to make informed decisions and help them navigate complex financial and legal matters. It's not about closing deals; it's about making a positive impact on clients' lives.

'Influencing' over 'selling' is a crucial part of our Sixth Pillar of Financial Advocacy: Mindset. When you join WSN, you're expected to have a client-centric mindset.

This mindset shift is fundamental, as it prepares you to take on the role of advisor and problem-solver, rather than focusing solely on closing deals. It's about accepting a heightened role of responsibility in your clients' lives.

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