by Tony Vidler
I just covered the need for practitioners to raise clients awareness of everything that you can do to help them – making sure they know all of your areas of expertise. All too often professionals lose business from good clients simply because the clients were not aware that the practitioner was able to handle other aspects of their affairs.
But there is another critical mistake practitioners make when it comes to ensuring clients understand all that you can do for them: using industry terminology that is baffling or meaningless to them.
The bottom line is that clients won’t agree to engage you or pay for services they do not understand.
To help them say YES to those services you do provide there is a need to bridge the understanding gap to begin with. You need to figure out how to drop all the jargon and put your services into language the client does understand. Even better, express those services in the form of an outcome that can be achieved for them and they are even more likely to say YES.
A great example is the typical Scope of Service type document, where the adviser provides essentially a list of potential services and/or products that the client can choose to take advice upon. The structure of such a document often reflects regulatory requirements, but the terminology often doesn’t have to. But advisers still do overwhelmingly use industry jargon in such documents. The end result is a list of products or vague planning components that a client struggles to see the relevance of immediately.
Is there any reason why we can’t strip the terminology out and focus on what these services do for the client?
For example; instead of listing a potential advice, or service area, such as “business insurance” (which can mean many different things to people) break that into a list of objectives that a business owner might have, such as:
By focussing upon an objective or an outcome that your advice can achieve for the client, rather than the tools or the process you use to achieve the objective, you help a client to better comprehend the work that you can do for them. If they understand the outcomes you can help them achieve, they will be far more inclined to say “yes” to your offer of professional advice.