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If the glove don’t fit

If the glove don’t fit

There’s only so much stuff our brains can remember – and your clients are no different.  If you want them to remember something really important, you need to focus on that one thing so that it really sticks in their mind.

It’s a bit like the glove in the OJ Simpson case.  Let me explain.

Client’s can be so frustrating

Isn’t it frustrating when a client forgets to do something important that you’ve asked them to do?

You’ve done some great coaching and planning work with them, opened their minds with your coaching and planning and delivered the great news that they can retire when they want to, or they can have the house they’ve always wanted, tor hey can afford to send little Johnny to private school, or you’ve worked out just the right trust for their inheritance.

You’re feeling so chuffed with yourself and all you need now is the client to reflect on a few key points. So, you send your client away to think about it all so they can come back next week with some decision.

But that’s just not what happens.

Sometimes, brains just reach saturation point

The next session arrives and you’re eagerly awaiting their fantastic bullet point list of answers – all the great bits you’ve asked them to think about.  Your client walks in and you beam at them and say, “well….?”

And they look at you blankly and say  ”What……?”

They haven’t brought you a list of answers.  In fact, they have no idea what you’re on about!

To you, you very clearly gave them a list of specific things that you wanted them to make some decisions on.

What the client heard at the end of your last meeting was, “blaaaaaaaaaaaah.”

The problem was at your last session. You said so much stuff. Crowbarred so much information into their heads that there’s was no room for anything else – their brains are literally full to the brim.

It’s like your computer hard drive – the more stuff that’s in there, the slower and slower it runs until it eventually just doesn’t work.  That’s your client’s brain right now.

The result?  They turned up to their meeting with nothing.  No decisions and no answers to any of your questions.

So, how do we stop this from happening?  How do we get them to remember the bits they need to remember?

Think OJ 

Remember the OJ Simpson case?  Actually, you might be too young.  But I’ll tell you the crux of it.

OJ was a famous American footballer.  He was accused of murdering his ex-wife and her new partner.  There was so much evidence against him – from video footage of him being chased by the police to a shed load of forensics.  The police weren’t even looking for any other suspects – which is basically code for “we know it was you….”

So his defence team, knowing that there was oodles of evidence stacked against him, decided that they could only win if they focused on jury management. They had a plan.

The prosecution, on the other hand, had so much evidence pointing to OJ that they felt it was a dead cert – how on earth could anyone not find him guilty?  They lined up witness after witness, testimony after testimony.  For weeks and months.  They thought they had it in the bag.

But the defence team focused on just one thing – a glove.

This one glove was pretty special.  It was a glove that the prosecution team said OJ had worn when he committed the murders.  Basically, the glove linked him to the crime.

Focus attention

The prosecution put OJ on the stand and asked him to put the glove on.  He fumbled about with it, tugging it over his big hands.  The jury saw him try to make it fit – they saw him struggle and fail.  The glove didn’t fit.

And whilst the prosecution’s evidence lasted for about 5 days, the defence team took a mere 20 minutes.

By just focusing on the glove, the defence team had done something very clever.

You see, if the glove didn’t fit OJ, how could he possibly have committed the murders?  Even the prosecution admitted that everything hinged on the glove – it was the glove worn by the killer.

The defence team even came up with a catchy little phrase

If the glove don’t fit then you’ve got to acquit.”

They repeated this phrase over and over again to the jury.  Hammering it home.  If the glove didn’t fit OJ, how could he have been the murderer?

Ultimately, OJ was found to be not guilty – even though weeks and weeks of trial and 99% of the evidence showed that he was guilty.  One little thing, just 1% of the evidence, got into the jurors’ heads.

If the glove don’t fit then you’ve got to acquit.”

Just one thing.

So, back to your financial planning session.  How about we focus on getting our clients to remember just one important thing at a time –  like the glove.

Instead of sending our clients away with a million things to think about, pick the most important one.  Even before the session, decide what one thing you want them to really understand, remember, think through or make a decision on.

And just stick to that.

And when they come back, they’ll give you the answer.  Why?  Because they’ve remembered that one important thing that you kept reinforcing.  It was stuck in their head.

Take it one layer at a time

If there’s a few things you need them to focus on, do it in layers. Start with the biggest and get that nailed, then work down through the layers. Chances are the smaller decision get easier if the bigger ones have already been cemented in.

And remember, it’s better to get one answer to one great question than no answers to a thousand questions.

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