Fraser Jack: 00:00 Welcome to the Goals Based Advice podcast where I normally have conversations with pioneers of the new world of financial advice. However, this episode coming to you from the Financial Planning Association Congress in Melbourne from the inside of a kombi van inside the expo hall, which is a little bit different, a different episode this week because we’re going to be talking to Lana from ELixir Consulting.
Lana Clark: 00:33 Hi there. I’m Lana. I’m from Elixir Consulting and today I’ve got, in the mix with Elixir, I’ve got the fabulous Fraser Jack. Fraser and I have been friends for quite a while now and I thought we’d turn the mic-
Fraser Jack: 00:45 You were a guest on the the podcast.
Lana Clark: 00:47 I was, I was a long time ago. But anyway, I thought we’d turn the mic on Fraser today and get his stories about his stories, really. So Fraser, you’re at 80 something podcasts now, so almost at the a hundred mark. Tell me what it’s like to actually have heaps of people, not just advisors, but other people tell their stories to you. How do you feel?
Fraser Jack: 01:08 Pretty privileged, actually. Pretty privileged. Privilege, oh I can’t speak. It’s it’s been just over 12 months. Yeah, we’re up to about 86, 88 episodes or release at the time, and we’re recording a whole lot of episodes here in the van. The stories have been amazing. And like you said, we just talk to different people about what they’re doing, their journey, their history, their achievements and then what they want to plan in the future. So it’s been great.
Lana Clark: 01:37 Awesome. So what are some memorable things that advisers have brought to the table that they’ve actually shared with other advisors?
Fraser Jack: 01:46 Well everybody has a story and a background and a weird way that they fell into the industry as everyone says, “Oh, I’m not very normal. I’ve come through different paths.” Well, turns out there’s no normal path. But I think for me the special moments are the ones where you really get that, what you’re talking about is going to help another person or help people in the situation where they’re at now. And I think the conversations are great because I get more our of the, so much out of the conversations. I wouldn’t say more, but so much out of the conversations. And then when that happens you just feel this additional feeling of that other people, they’re going to get something out of that as well and that it’s going to be helpful. And I think that helpfulness is the driver and most advisors want to be in that helpful zone. You know, how can we help? And yeah.
Lana Clark: 02:37 I think that’s really pertinent at the moment, given that we’re all trying to be masters of change and navigate the change that’s going on right now in our profession. So any little snippet of information that can help someone else is really useful, right? Whether it’s just a little bit about how you have a conversation or turn the conversation around with your client or how get your staff motivated or how to get them more engaged in what they’re doing every day. Really understanding who their clients are. All of this sort of thing, just the littlest bit.
Fraser Jack: 03:08 Yeah. I call them little snippets of wisdom. So I heard this thing a while ago, and I’m not even sure where I heard it now, but it was the idea of what is wisdom? And really, it’s summed up in the idea of that there was an idea, there’s a concept, somebody’s then applied it, and did it work or didn’t it work? Right? So it’s just these little things everyone’s saying, “I had this idea, we tried it, it worked.” Then that’s wisdom. Right?
And it could be the smallest idea, just around a process change or something. Or it could be a big idea. Or it could be, “We tried this thing and it didn’t work, but there’s a learning.” And so that learning is the wisdom. And if you can find in the stories a little bit of that, then people go, “Oh, I now don’t need to try that.” Or “I will try that.” Depending on what the outcome was. And either way, whether it was a win or loss, it was a good learning.
Lana Clark: 04:03 Yeah. And the learnings also are extended to, well, we kind of implemented what I learned from the snippet, but we’ve actually taken that a step further. And so this is the outcome that we’ve now achieved. So we’ve taken that bit. It’s like take the best, leave the rest. Taken that bit, morphed it a little bit and this is how it works for us, which I think is awesome as well.
Fraser Jack: 04:27 And the beauty about this is that you learn from your mistakes, you learn from other, if you can learn from other people’s mistakes or you learn from their learnings and that’s the best thing. And we have this internal human nature around the idea of benchmarking. Well some people call it competing depending on what I might be. And sometimes it’s competitive, other times it’s just feeling like you want to be in that safe zone. So other people are doing this thing, so I’m going to do it, or other people aren’t doing that thing so I’m going to stay away. So just those little things.
Lana Clark: 04:56 And look, full kudos to anyone who’s a trailblazer and goes out there and writes their own rules and starts from scratch and does their own thing. That’s awesome. But there’s also equally, there’s nothing wrong with taking what someone else does, either turning it into something that works for you or just replicating it, whatever it does. If it’s positive change in your business that gets you to the next level or gets you to the next point of your business evolution, then that’s got to be a great thing.
Fraser Jack: 05:21 Yeah, that makes me think of those words “Best practice” right? So the fact in best practice is that people are doing this thing in practice now, it’s not a new thing that no one’s done before, it’s a thing that people are applying and so obviously it works.
Lana Clark: 05:34 Yeah. Yeah, sure thing. So if I said to you, what are the top things that advisors can take away from telling stories and giving to their clients, what would they be? Why is it so important to tell stories to your clients?
Fraser Jack: 05:47 Yeah, I think stories come from the heart. And some of as advisors, some of the things that we say come from the head and some of the things are in the hands, right? So it’s about how. How do you do something? That’s kind of like the hand thing. What are you doing? That’s the head, like what are the strategies needed and what are the things in the process that need to take place. And that’s very logical. But stories are really around the heart, you know? Like why did you do that? Like what was the motivation factor behind spending all that money on a kombi van, or whatever it might be, when clearly it doesn’t get you from A to B any quicker than something else. But it’s around the idea of understanding the human behind the decision.
Like the human behind the logical decisions. And that’s from a human to human point of view where people connect. So you can go “Great, you helped me with the strategy, but I’m not in love with the strategy or I’m not... I don’t have the raw emotion with the strategy.” It’s that “Why.” And I guess we always come back to why. So to me, stories represent the why, they represent the human contact, they represent the emotion, they represent the relationship. For, I guess, why in our primitive brains was this idea of being part of a community and sharing those stories. And then our logical brain can kick in and go, oh great, there’s a logical thing that’s happened.
But those logical things aren’t as emotionally compelling to other human beings. So I think stories and telling stories... And when I say telling stories, they don’t have to be the story about when I climbed Mount Everest, right? which I didn’t by the way. But it could just be the story about how you tripped over as you walked in here today, just normal things-
Lana Clark: 07:38 I didn’t trip over by the way, I didn’t trip in the van.
Fraser Jack: 07:40 No she didn’t. She didn’t trip over. So... She didn’t actually trip over. So just normal stories like the things that people can relate to, because I think often we hear stories that are just unrelatable because somebody has done this amazing, and great for them, not taking anything away. But I think the stories we resonate with are the stories that are similar to us. So you know, stories of how somebody has done something similar to what we’re doing now. With the podcast for example, we have just other people that have done some the things to the listeners.
And yes we had people that had done incredible things as well and you can inspire to, and you can have big goals and dreams and aspirations. But some of the times the stories are just the ones that people did a similar thing to what I’m thinking about doing tomorrow, or the next day.
Lana Clark: 08:35 When you tell a story, I guess to anybody in your life you come across it’s all about the ability to be reliable, okay? So if you’re really having trouble explaining a concept to a client for example, giving it life by telling a story brings the client essentially to the conclusion of “Oh I get where you’re going with that.” So it’s an easy way to demonstrate the process that you’re taking them through and the outcome that they might receive as a result of the advice that you’re giving.
Fraser Jack: 09:06 Yeah, and there’s plenty of stories. And I think we all think about how do we come up with a big high impactful story? And yes that’s great to have those, but if you don’t have them, don’t get too hung up on those. We’ve all got stories about why we believe in something. And I think that’s the other thing too, to actually be able to believe in that thing first. And then the story just becomes naturally, you don’t have to get too involved in it, your passion and purpose shine through around those stories. Stories of how you helped somebody with a claim, stories around how you saved somebody from doing something. You know, it doesn’t have to be a big “I made this person $1 million.” No, I just saved them from making one dumb mistake, you know?
Lana Clark: 09:49 Silly decisions about money, right?
Fraser Jack: 09:52 Yep. Yep. And I’ve got this theory that we make these decisions around money. It’s very easy to think with our frontal brain and say “Okay, logically we should be doing this, right?” But then human beings don’t act logically. They’re irrational and emotional, so we make these money decisions often with our primitive brain, but that’s not necessarily the right brain that we should be using at that time.
Lana Clark: 10:18 The old amygdala kicks in.
Fraser Jack: 10:19 Yes.
Lana Clark: 10:20 Yes.
Fraser Jack: 10:21 So I think that advisors, their role is to understand that and to go, “Great.” From the outside looking in, it’s very easy as the third person looking into a situation like, “Oh why don’t you just do that?” But that’s not how we work. And to actually understand those emotional decisions and how they work and then talk about that idea, well great. When you make a decision about money, maybe we have a system in place where you don’t think with your emotional brain next time or you wait or you talk to us about it first or you do something like that.
Lana Clark: 10:54 Yeah. So I guess we all have those stories within us right? How do we bring that to the conscious brain? What’s the trigger for an adviser, do you think, to bring those stories to a conscious brain, to use them when they’re articulating their own story or the story of advice or the process of advice to a client?
Fraser Jack: 11:14 Yeah, so there’s a few different things here. To me, the big thing is the empathy. So you tell me something and I find a relatable moment in my life. And also with that, this is not about a moment of being the ultra professional. This is in fact living the professional, ultra professional scenario go, and go “You know what? That happened to me. I stuffed up too.” You know? Like “All right, don’t worry about it because it happens to the best of us” and then that relatable story. So there’s those. But there’s also, I’ve heard there’s this great concept where you can actually... Go through your phone, all right? Look the photos in your phone. Think of a little story about each of those photos [inaudible 00:11:57] what happened.
And then if there’s relevant stories that you would come across in the advice conversation, just take note of those stories. And then you have a bank of stories. If you want to set yourself up with a bank of stories, just go through your memories and your phone or your social media or whatever it might be, and go through moments in time that you have little stories around. And then you can actually, if you want to hone your story telling skill, just go through and think of the moments in that story that were worth making a point.
So the point is, I was trying to do this. The point is, it failed or whatever, the point is we all had a laugh about it afterwards, whatever the point might be. Or I learned something from it. And then you can just have those conversations. But I think everyone will tell their own story naturally. And if it’s something that you’ve experienced yourself, it’s easy to tell the story because you can-
Lana Clark: 12:50 Absolutely. Personal experience.
Fraser Jack: 12:50 Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, if you want to have a bank of stories, go through your phone and make a little story about each memory.
Lana Clark: 12:56 I’ve seen advisors actually write stories and have them available, printed in their office to give to clients, successful claims, how they might’ve helped someone retire earlier than they expected to, all of those things. So I think that everyone needs to be able to draw whatever they can out of their memory bank or their phone bank or whatever to tell the story to the client, so that the client is in the right position to make a decision about their own future and how you can help them on along on that path.
Fraser Jack: 13:27 Yeah. And I think one of the great ways of doing that too is if, because I struggle with writing, [crosstalk 00:13:34] study type stuff-
Lana Clark: 13:34 Yeah. Well yeah, writing is interesting. But stories in writing, if you tell stories it’s much easier.
Fraser Jack: 13:39 Yeah, yeah. It’s actually, then maybe sit down with another person and tell the story to the other person and get them to write it.
Lana Clark: 13:44 Exactly, exactly. Well, it comes back to the heart thing. I think that if you’re writing from the heart, it’s far easier than if you’re writing, you have to get words onto a page and then make them meaningful, get them in the right order, all of those sorts of things. But a story has a natural beginning and a natural end and all the bits in between. So the steps are kind of already there.
Fraser Jack: 14:05 And that’s the other thing too you can think about with this story. You mentioned at the beginning, understand how to start the story, but then understand how to finish it, understand where, what was the point of that story, or the learning or the wisdom or whatever you wanted to say. And then maybe work out how to hang on that last. So if you wanted to practice your story, work out at the beginning, there’s some detail in the middle and then work out what the ending would be.
Lana Clark: 14:29 Yeah. Awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about your experiences with people telling stories. I love to hear this sort of stuff and it’s a great opportunity to turn the camera and the mic on you.
Fraser Jack: 14:43 Thanks for popping into at the kombi and hanging out with me at the conference here.
Lana Clark: 14:45 Yeah, it’s been a while. We haven’t seen each other in like over a year, so it’s kind of weird. But anyway, that’s In The Mix with Elixir, thanks for listening and watching.
Fraser Jack: 14:53 And that was the Goals Based Advice podcast episode with Lana Clark the second time around.
Lana Clark: 14:56 Awesome. Thanks. Bye for now.
Fraser Jack: 14:58 See ya. If you haven’t already, I’d love you to subscribe to the podcast on your podcast platform of choice, and to continue the conversation head over to our social media channels. We’ll catch you next time.
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