Welcome to Financial Advisor IQ

Don’t Panic! Less Cortisol Means More New Assets

July 14, 2017

Advisors may well win more clients if they understand how cortisol levels affect a prospect’s decision-making, says financial advisor coach Dan Solin in Advisor Perspectives.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that’s harmful to health at elevated levels. But it also impacts the chances of someone agreeing to sign up as a client, according to Solin. In addition to weakening the immune system and increasing blood pressure, elevated cortisol causes stress under which a prospect is more likely to react negatively, he writes.

And that’s exactly the effect many advisors have on their client’s cortisol levels during initial meetings, Solin claims.

Several studies have linked elevated cortisol levels with situations in which a person is exposed to new or unpredictable situations — such as when an advisor decides to educate a prospect while leading the meeting, he writes. Because they’re in charge, advisors also inadvertently raise the prospect’s cortisol levels by placing them in a position of little control, insists Solin. Cortisol also goes up when someone is put into a situation threatening to their ego – which is often the case when an advisor is trying to show a prospect how their previous financial decisions were mistaken, he writes.

Solin suggests advisors “radically” change their approach in light of what cortisol does to their prospects. A hard sell of services at discounted prices, for example, is likely only to stress out their prospect, he writes. Instead, Solin suggests asking the prospect how they met their spouse or partner, which will lower the prospect’s cortisol levels immediately — and presumably lead to more assets coming under the advisor’s management.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Advisor Perspectives article cited in this story, click here.