Every Advantage has its day, say and way

Let’s say your Archetype isn’t flashy or sexy. You might be wondering if you are actually fascinating, or if we’re just being nice to you. Let us tell you a story...

Two Personal Brand Examples

An excerpt from the bestseller, "How The World Sees You," by Sally Hogshead

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Martin. They are an ideal client: empty-nesters, in a secure financial position, ready to invest more heavily in their retirement planning.

They are a financial advisor’s dream. Yet the Martins are feeling a little overwhelmed by all the planning options and they plan to work with a financial advisor. They have face-to-face meetings with two financial advisors, Andy and Simon, and they plan to choose one.

Andy and Simon have similar levels of experience and similar backgrounds. Most of all, they have similar planning services. On paper, they’re evenly matched, and their services are virtually identical. But there’s a critical difference. One of them knows how to instantly communicate value. They are an example of how personal brands communicate differently.

Andy is not what most would describe as a charming personality. He’s shy, a self-described introvert. He dislikes the obligatory small talk at the start of a meeting, and wants to listen rather than generate discussion. Most would call him intense.

Yet Andy has an ace in the hole. He asks astute questions, and he listens keenly. He perceptively parses through the jumble of what the Martins describe. When he does finally speak, he articulates a vision for what the Martins actually want for their retirement, bringing structure and clarity to their confusion about their own financial goals.

Andy’s personality Advantages are Prestige + Mystique. His Archetype is the Royal Guard. This Archetype is not flashy or gimmicky. Like the royal guards outside Buckingham Palace, he is reserved and watchful, minimalist in conversation, with carefully thought-out words and actions. His Anthem is astute questions, because he has an unusual ability to listen skillfully, and discern details that others would miss.

If Andy only does one thing during his meeting with the Martins, he must deliver value through astute questions.

Even from Andy’s first meeting, he is quietly intense. Not warm or chatty. Unlike many financial planners, he doesn’t sound like a brochure. Instead, Andy knows that he will succeed through astute questions.

His discussion reflects careful prior thinking and research. This impresses the Martins, because Andy had clearly focused his prep time around their needs rather than selling himself. The Martins are already thinking about how to apply Andy’s structure to their investments. There is no guarantee that Andy will close the deal, but Andy has attained his highest likelihood of doing so.

The other financial advisor, Simon, has a very different effect. Though Simon is selling almost exactly the same service as Andy, he is not nearly as persuasive. Simon begins each meeting exactly as he has been trained to do, following a conversational script. His words feel a little forced as he delivers a canned presentation. He gives the Martins the obligatory flurry of brochures and corporate literature. His information does explain why someone should invest . . . but does not explain why they should invest with Simon.

How do the Martins respond? Mrs. Martin’s eyes glaze over, and Mr. Martin becomes vaguely irritated. They disengage, shifting in their chairs. Both begin thinking of all the reasons why they could delay the whole retirement planning process altogether.

You might not be surprised to hear that Andy is still working with the Martins today.

Why did one planner fascinate the prospect, and the other did not? Andy and Simon are both selling a commodity service—in fact, the exact same service. Simon is more charismatic and conversational than Andy, so how did Andy fascinate the Martins?

The Lesson:

The higher the stakes, the more important it becomes to deliver true value. Your Anthem is the essence of your personal brand.  It is the perfect example of how your personal brand adds distinct value to any situation. Don’t waste time trying to be someone else.

You are the ideal person for this opportunity because you deliver
[insert your Anthem here].