How to Educate “Busy” Prospects and Clients About Exit Planning

Almost every exit advisor knows the struggle — clients and prospects just don’t have time to get educated on exit planning, even when you’re offering exit planning education for little-to-no cost.

This isn’t so much a business owner problem as a human problem. Everyone is busy these days. The world is filled with distractions. It’s easy, especially for young and middle-aged business owners, to push the thought of exit planning off.

Right up until it’s too late.

If you can pin them down, most of these business owners will readily admit that they don’t really have much of a retirement plan in place, that their “plan” is to just sell their business “when the time is right.”

Obviously, this is a recipe for disaster.

As exit advisors, we have our client’s best interests at heart. That often means telling them things they don’t want to hear.

While it might be tempting to avoid saying anything negative in any of our marketing or educational materials, the reality is that most of them won’t be able to even get their business to market — not without a lot of work in the years ahead.

To properly educate their clients who are just too “busy” to listen, exit advisors need to do two things: 

  • Not be afraid to tell business owners the uncomfortable truth
  • Create educational content that works better for today’s shorter attention spans

Tell It Like It Is

As an exit advisor, it’s your job to help business owners with something that, frankly, many of them never want to think about. It’s an exit advisor’s job to be the bearer of bad news at times. Trying to always keep things positive can keep business owners from acting… until it’s too late.

That’s why it’s important to be open and honest with them about the risks and difficulties that come with even attempting to sell a business. Of course, you need to also offer solutions, but if you’re not willing to talk about the challenges that face business owners trying to sell today, then you’re ultimately doing your clients a disservice.

You can start by talking about problems that they already know they have. Explain to them that exit planning is about more than just retirement, that it’s about taking the necessary steps to ensure their business is in the best shape for the future.

When they realize that exit planning is, in many ways, about business growth and becoming best-in-class and that you can offer solutions to problems they’re having right now, they’re going to be more willing to listen.

By being upfront, and even a little blunt, with business owners about the difficulties of today’s market, you can show them the importance of being prepared and motivate them to create a plan — or, at the very least, get them to sign up for a little education.

Don’t be afraid to tell them the uncomfortable truth about selling a business — it could mean the difference between success and failure.

Short Attention Spans Require Short Content

The average attention span of adults is around 8 seconds, so it’s no surprise that short content is gaining popularity. For business owners, it’s probably worse — they have far more demands on their time than the average person.

People want quick hits of information they can absorb fast, and they don’t have the time (or the patience) to wade through long content.

When people visit a web page, they only read around 20% of the content on the page (and only stay for 10-20 seconds).

That means, to most effectively reach your clients, you’ll need to create short content that engages readers and delivers your message in a way that resonates immediately.

One way to do this is to create content that’s broken into easily digestible chunks. For example, you might create a series of short blog posts that each focus on a specific concept or topic related to exit planning.

That way, readers can quickly gain insight into the subject without having to read an exhausting article.

Short videos are another great way to quickly convey your message and make it more engaging. The average person is willing to spend 2.7 minutes on a video, and 59% of senior executives say they’d rather watch a video than read an article.

Short attention spans are a reality of the digital age, so creating short content is an essential part of any client education strategy.

That’s why we put together The Advisor’s Edge, a library of short content that you can use to educate potential and existing clients on exit planning.

The Advisor’s Edge — The Tools You Need to Educate Clients

The Advisor’s Edge includes documents and short videos that explain just about every aspect of what exit advisors, financial professionals, and other business advisors do in a way that’s clear, short, and professional.

The content is extremely high quality and has been created by top professionals in the exit planning industry.

This means your potential clients will see you not just as a resource and someone they can trust, but as someone who is a true expert, who really knows what they’re talking about.

Learn more about what The Advisor’s Edge can do for you.

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