What is one of our fundamental roles as an adviser? Is it not to simplify the complexities for our clients? Most clients don’t have the time, interest or bandwidth to become experts in all things required of business owners and HR professionals.

Don’t they look to us for guidance and council? One of the greatest gifts an adviser can possess is what the famed life insurance superstar Ben Feldman possessed: the ability to reduce the complex to the very simple ... with few words.

We frequently feel we must explain everything in excruciating detail, when what the client really wants is our recommendation in simple, easy to understand terms.

We need to have a deeper appreciation for the information overload that we all experience. We must become better SIMPLICITY MAVENS (don’t even think of using this expression as I’ve filed for a trademark!). 

One can think of the massive information flow coming into the top of a funnel. A client doesn’t usually want to be overwhelmed with all the information. They want us to be their SIMPLICITY MAVENS and synthesize the information, providing them with the relevant information that is available at the bottom of the funnel.

Perhaps it’s time to rethink how we present ourselves. We tend to usually explain things the same way each time. What I mean is when responding to a client question that we’ve heard 100 times before our response is very similar ... almost an autopilot response. Maybe it’s time to rethink or reshape some of our responses. Maybe it’s time to try and simplify our responses.

I challenge you to the following exercise: Select someone in your agency that you highly respect and ask them to critique your renewal or new business presentation. The objective is to point out areas where you might simplify, shorten, make more concise, by using examples and word pictures.  As I reflect on this, perhaps someone not in our business would be better suited to provide input. They would be a more accurate judge of your ability to communicate complex topics into simple to understand bites of information. They have not participated in dozens of renewal and/or new business presentation. The information is new and they could better evaluate your communication skills.

The challenge is finding the appropriate balance between avoiding information overload and not providing adequate information for them to make an informed decision.

I would be very interested in the results of this exercise. Keep in mind, that what clients want is for you to be a SIMPLICITY MAVEN!

Torelli, CLU, ChFC, MSFS is president of Newport Beach, Calif.-based e3 Financial.

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