Lesson 1 | Introduction to Vision (6:56 minutes)

Vision can seem like some murky territory, because as soon as someone says, "What's your vision?" it begins to sound like this kumbaya, gather around the campfire sort of experience. But it's anything but that. It's concrete, it is powerful, and it moves people. And when you're looking to be different in the market and, more importantly, create a difference in your client's lives so that you stand out from everyone else, one of the ways you can do that is with how you handle vision. And this is a fundamental piece of discovery. This lesson is going to take you through not only why it's important and what the impact is, but actually how to do it. What's the step-by-step. What are the questions to ask? How do you do this? So let's get into it. What's a vision? When you get into this conversation, it's really important to help your clients understand that vision is simply a desired future state. Desired future state, those three words are magical, desired future state. How do you want it to be one day?

And what it really boils down to is, how do you want it to be one day? What's your desired future state? How do you want it to look, sound, feel? What do you want to experience? What's your schedule going to be like? What are things like for you in the future? So what is the desired future state? I want you to keep that in the back of your mind as we're going through this so that you make sure that you stay oriented on that narrow path of paying attention to the things that are actually going to be relevant when it comes to helping people understand what their vision is. But why bother? Why take the time with this? You might say, "Chris, I don't need to talk about vision because I go straight to the goals and figure out what they need to get those and then get them for them." Well, we think that's awesome. But with vision, it'll give you an edge over others that others don't have. It also gives you accuracy, and more importantly, it gives you a reason. Let me tell you what I mean.

Some advisors will say, "Well, I don't want to slow down things at the beginning and ask people what their vision is at the beginning. I want to get right to it. Let me help them find a solution. Let me help them put that solution in place and get moving. Action creates results." And the truth is we agree. Absolutely, it's actions that generate the result. The question is, what actions? If you ask someone, "So what are your goals?" Oftentimes, you'll get pretty soft answers. More accurately, what you get are the answers they've been taught to give you. "I want to retire by the time I'm 65. I'm going to golf. I'm going to take long walks on the beach with my wife. I'm going to have a sailboat. I'm going to spend time with my grandchildren." If that is a person's actual desired future state, how they want it to be, fantastic. However, there's been so much messaging around that, and we've been so many instructions around that, that we think that that's what we want.

And the truth is, a lot of people are not clear. The problem is that they think that those are supposed to be their goals. "I'm supposed to get a boat. I'm supposed to get good at golf. I'm supposed to be able to afford all that stuff." And if they think that those are their goals, but they're not really, when they go to implement, are they more or less likely to implement? Well, they're less likely to implement. What we want to do is slow down just a little bit at the beginning to get really clear on where they are going and why it matters. The reason it becomes powerful is this: No one else is having this conversation with them, oftentimes, including their own spouses or partners. They've never talked about this with anyone or never had a really well-formed conversation. Let me ask you, what's your vision for the future? What is your desired future state? I bet you have a mushy sense of this.

"Well, I kinda want to do this and I kinda want that," or you might even have a little bit more of it concrete and nailed down, but show me the person who can say, "My vision looks like this. It is this, it is this, it is this," with a lot of specificity. Very few people can do that. If you consider that most people can't do that and that most people haven't even had this conversation with some of the most important people in their lives, but you show up on the scene and you're able to help them navigate that conversation, what do you think that does to your relationship with them? Well, clients say things like, "Wow, you helped me finally get clear on this, for the first time in my life. This really changes how I behave in what I do in the focal point of my life. I better go work with someone else now." No, that's not what happens. They want to work with you. You're the one who got them clear. They stick with you.

This conversation creates an emotional connection with the wealth holder that others aren't going to have, but it also creates an understanding that, once you have this, you're able to truly serve them. Once you understand their vision, you can help them identify goals that will take them there. But if you don't have that vision, goals are just things to do. Most people aren't looking for more to do. They're looking for things that will get them somewhere. The vision is where people want to get to, but they can't articulate it. At the end of this, you're going to know how to help people articulate their vision, and by doing that, you're going to understand their reasons for acting on your advice, which means that, after we go through this discovery and the fact-finding and you develop solutions and you come back and you present it to them, you give them a recommendation, they're not going to be drilling into the minute questions around the solution versus that versus this versus that.

What they're going to ask is, "Will this get me to that vision we talked about, my desired future state, that piece above the planning horizon? Is this going to get me that?" And you're going to be able to say at that moment, as people move forward, "Yes." By slowing down a little bit at the front, you speed up at the backend. If you don't do this, and then you come up with a bunch of solutions, they're going to have 100 questions about, "Well, should I or shouldn't I?' You've had the experience that people just drop off. You present a plan and they drop off. You've had great meetings where you come up with great solutions and then they fall off. But that's not the kind of experience you're going to have with this. You're going to be sure that you're actually clear on the real target, the real bulls-eye, their vision. You're going to create an emotional connection with the wealth holder that other people just plain don't have.

And when it comes time to them making decisions, those decisions are going to move faster. So why bother? You don't have to do it, but you're leaving a massive opportunity on the table if you don't. In this next lesson, we'll give you the tools for exactly how to get at someone's vision.