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Questions Change Your Life

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I heard George speak at an Ameriprise conference years ago. His approach, is to dig into the why behind the answers and help people reveal to themselves their true desires. Most people spend very little time planning their financial future, and even fewer dream of what they may do if they were to actually attain their goal of financial independence - and that lead to a high degree of disappointment in retirement. Imagine how little time they think about their lending needs. It's summed up often in their go to question: what's your rate?

As liability advisors, you want to help the consumer go beyond their own limitations of 'lowest rate' to realize what they really want. Lowest rate means something. It means lower payment. Lower payment means something. It means higher cash flow. Higher cash flow means something. It means the ability to do something, etc. The key is to help them reveal what is important to them. Knowing this is very powerful for you both!

As with any question, the goal is to collaboratively create a shared vision with your client and build a deeper relationship.


There are often two approaches to this type of relationship building.

The crock pot or the microwave.


The 'crock pot' approach you provide these questions to your prospects/clients in advance as part of your planning for your first meeting. This gives them time to 'stew' on it, and consider what they know or don't know. You then help them by asking the questions when you are together - in the context of your profession. It creates a real 'divide' between you and your competition, especially if they are shopping rates.

The 'microwave' approach is to hit them with the questions when you are meeting, or speaking for the first time to shock them into a realization that they don't know what they don't know. In asking them those questions and creating that gap of uncertainty, they want to collaborate with you as part of the process... either way you neuter your competition.

You do you and determine what style fits you the best. Just start, and you'll see how wonderful you grow personally and become better at asking deeper questions that get to the heart of your client's personal lending and financial goals. You will also start to learn what makes your clients take action, AND you'll start to see how similar your clients really are. Remember: People think logically, but they act from emotion.

George's 3 'dream' questions?

  1. Imagine you are financially secure and that there is enough money to take care of your needs, now and in the future. How would you live your life?

  2. Imagine you visit the doctor who tells you that you only have 5 to 10 years left. You will remain as healthy as you are today and you won’t feel sick, but your time is restricted. What will you do in the time you have remaining to live?

  3. Finally, imagine your doctor says you have one day left. Notice what feelings arise as you confront your very real mortality. Ask yourself: What did I miss? Who did I not get to be? What did I not get to do?

These are financial planning question, and couples answers are often different. This isn't about right or wrong, it's about getting a discussion going so you can tie your unique abilities to their unique needs. How would you answer George's questions for yourself?

With any answer, the default easy continuation is 'say more about that...' as a way to help them go deeper. Tony Robbins often shares that you have to ask the same question three times to even get close to the truth - partly because people are skeptical about sharing their truth until they know you really care, and in part because they don't know their truth until pushed to tell themselves what they really want.

What questions might you ask that would have a similar impact from a lending perspective?

I have a variety of questions I use, but here are a few I used for rate shoppers?

  1. Imagine you have the lowest rate possible, what would that lower rate make possible for you now? In the future? (hint - I'm looking to see what they want to do with higher cash flow)

  2. If you got the lowest rate, but realized years later that you'd gotten the wrong loan product - what's more important to you? Lowest rate, or lowest cost of the mortgage over time?

  3. I hear you want the lowest rate, I would too. There are so many components to managing liabilities. If most of what you thought were true about your house, wasn't true, when would you want to know about it?

TIP: Watch George walk through his questions for financial advisor clients:

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