“If you remember only one thing…” Advisors who attended Loring Ward’s 2017 National Education Conference will likely remember Frank Luntz’s important message about what to say (and what NOT to say) to investors.

As founder and president of Luntz Global, Luntz has written and conducted more than 2,500 surveys and focus groups throughout the world. You may have seen him on TV working with focus groups during presidential elections or more recently on 60 Minutes. Here are some of the highlights of his presentation at Loring Ward’s conference:

  • People are more cynical than ever before, so if you want to be successful today, it’s not about making the sale, it’s about making a friend.
  • Remember to use different words when you speak to different clients. Age is the single greatest language differentiator, followed by wealth and gender.
  • You can do so much better asking questions than making statements. Ask questions like these:
    • What do you want most in life?
    • When it comes to your future, what’s most important to you?
    • Imagine life to perfection — where are you, what are you doing, who are you with?

What Do People Really Want?
Luntz’s research found the most common “wants” by age and gender:

  • Men want more money
  • Women want more time
  • Gen X want better work/life balance
  • Retirees want no worries

Use this information to improve your conversations with your clients.

Words That Work
Luntz shared words and phrases that test well with investors, including 21 Words for the 21st Century and 10 Phrases for Today.

Instead of focusing on just “your” finances, talk about “your children’s financial futures.” Most wealthy people think their kids are not going to have a better future.

Remember that retirement is about “security and comfort.” Keep the focus on the client: “The markets can be unpredictable, but your retirement planning doesn’t have to be.”

Communicating During Market Downturns
When markets are going down you need to communicate more, not less. “I get it” and “I hear you” are really important to investors when markets decline.

Luntz’s final admonition to advisors was to take their skills and use them to help others. “I promise it will make your life so much better.”