All too often, we put up barriers that stop us from realizing our goals because we think we lack the very thing we’re hoping to achieve. People won’t start running because they run out of breath easily. Continuing education is put off because people don’t know if they have enough knowledge to complete the curriculum. While it’s beneficial to start an endeavor with the “end in mind”, realize that it’s starting with whatever you have that’s most important.
Recently a yoga instructor told me of a conversation she had with a potential student. The instructor asked why the person was reluctant to come try a class. She had replied, “I don’t think I could do it because I’m not very flexible.” The instructor responded, “Okay, but are you mobile?”
The elegance of her question has stuck with me. Instead of addressing the objection head on, the teacher searched for an attribute she knew the person already possessed. If the person was mobile, then she could attend class. If she could attend class, she could practice the poses. If she could practice the poses, her flexibility would increase.
As Napoleon Hill said: Find the seed of an opportunity in every setback.
In my financial practice, I hear many objections from people who aren’t sure they want to work with an advisor. One of the most common is,“I don’t have any money.” My first instinct is to jump in and try to convince the person that they do have money and they can do something with it. In other words, I’m trying to prove them wrong. You can imagine how often I’m successful in developing a client relationship with these folks.
However, if I apply the same approach as the yoga instructor, the result can be very different. If the response to “I don’t have any money” is “Can you earn money?” then the conversation is about the power to help increase income, then savings and ultimately net worth.
Similarly, if the response to “I don’t have any money” is “How do you spend money?”, then the conversation is about changing priorities, then shifting cash flow, helping increase savings and ultimately net worth.
By helping people recognize the personal assets they already have instead of focusing on the attributes they may lack, professionals can be much better leaders of the people we hope to serve.
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