People Prefer Real People

Ambleside_Header_CroppedEveryone is talking about making your marketing content more “personal”, or letting your audience know who you really are. In the financial services industry there is a very prevalent tendency toward over-“professionalism”.

Trying to look like your armor has no chinks in it never works. Give people the credit for being able to handle that you don’t know everything. In fact, admitting your limitations is highly attractive to your prospects.

The training in our industry has been historically biased toward the generalist approach. The career companies always taught that it’s better to pretend you can handle any type of need, then learn about it once you have an interested candidate. Based on that, it was discouraged to be a specialist because the company feared failure among what they termed “Elephant Hunters”.

This post is not about generalist vs. specialist. It is about being yourself. Letting people see what turns you on, turns them on. They can tell you are real. The resistance prospects put up is often a function of not wanting to be taken advantage of by some slick salesman telling them whatever he thinks they want to hear.

Have you noticed that the fear of making a mistake is stronger than the desire to finding a solution to a problem they don’t really want to face? Being yourself, and revealing your interests, reduces this hurdle. People would trust their intuition about working with you more easily if they felt they could actually tell who you are.

                    So  how do you do it?

I mean, what sort of personal information is appropriate to reveal?

I’m getting a little tired of the “put your pet’s picture on your marketing materials” approach.I’m not worried about offending the part of the market that doesn’t like dogs or cats. I just think it is a transparent grab at trying to display personality. But what does it have to do with your service?

It is much more effective to focus on what you care about that is actually related to your work. I’ll give you an example. Agents or advisors that are passionate about promoting financial literacy among kids should publicize that. As a parent and grandparent I’m much more likely to take an interest in that provider than a guy who happens to like Golden Retrievers. (Even if I had a Golden Retriever)

I’ve always been very willing to go out of my way to give business to people who I know are more interested in serving others than they are in lining their own pockets. You probably feel that way. Even if only 10% of the market feels that way, that’s more than enough to keep you busier than you’ve ever been.

Are you walking the walk, you may ask?

Fair enough. I have established a website and blog that promotes the philosophy of “Give 1st”. You’ve no doubt heard the expression, “The secret of happiness is giving”. Or it’s cousin, “The secret of living is giving.”

The mission of the site and blog is to educate people about becoming more “others-directed”, as opposed to the typical “taking care of #1” attitude.

Please feel free to go to to witness the birth of a movement.

Another example… Notice the graphic at the upper right corner of this post? I do fund raising for this new private

school. It starts conversations that are truly curiosity driven.

You can check it out at …

 There are really only 2 steps required to implement the personalization of your marketing efforts as I am proposing in the blog post you are reading right now.

1. Introspect to discover what about your career turns you on.

2. Let people know about it.

I’m available to discuss how this idea applies to your practice as part of my services with New York and National Long Term Care Brokers. You can reach me there during business hours at 518-688-8147.

Or email me at

PS – Go out there and do what you were meant to do!


One comment

  1. Marvin Soran · · Reply

    I enjoyed reading People Prefer Real People, a lot of similarity to what I tried to convey to my hotel staff during my 40 years in the hospitality industry.
    I look forward to meeting up with you during my time in Albany 04/02-03/2014.
    Marvin Soran

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