I just finished reading a piece by Michael Lewis on President Obama. This is the same Michael Lewis who wrote, “Money Ball” and “The Big Short.” I enjoy Lewis’s writing style, because he weaves a story into the message he is trying to convey.
What stood out to me in the article was that President Obama chooses between two suits – black or blue – each day. I don’t know if he has several pairs of each suit, but Lewis indicated in the article that Obama just chooses between black and blue.
The reason Obama does this is because the demands of being president means he wants to limit his decision-making process, otherwise he exhausts his energy in making decisions. This is not limited to the president. The article “Do You Suffer from Decision Fatigue,” which appeared in The New York Times in August 2011, highlights evidence that everyone from judges to people planning their weddings get overwhelmed with decisions. As the article explains, “there is a finite store of mental energy for exerting self-control.” Each and every one of us loses a bit of energy with every decision we make. Therefore, it is in our best interest to limit the decisions we make each day.
I park in the same parking spot each day. I line up my clothes in my closet in a particular order, so I don’t choose what I wear so much as whatever is next in my closet chooses me. In this way, I save the energy I have in order to make decisions in bigger situations.
As financial advisors, we should keep this in mind when working with clients.
Individuals have a lot of decisions to make each day. Clients are coming to you to help them make decisions.
The way you can minimize this decision-making process is through working collaboratively with your clients. We go through the collaborative process in our Sound Selling class, which is available for download. The benefit of a sound selling process is that you help your client become clear on what he wants to accomplish and create a road map for doing so. This means clients appreciate your value, you get to a sale quicker and clients are more inclined to give you referrals.
The amount of information we have to process each day, even if we are not the President of the United States, is overwhelming.
We can help our clients through decisions by creating a better road map for them.
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