The Power of Words: Predicting Your Success as a Financial Advisor

Can the words we use predict our success in our business? This is a growing area of research – where the data analyzed is the words that we use. This language analysis has been done to predict the success of athletes, movies, books and more. Can they predict your success as a financial advisor too?

Researchers at Stony Brook University have developed an algorithm that will indicate whether a book will be commercially successful with 84% accuracy. It was found that successful books made frequent use of conjunctions, prepositions, nouns, pronouns, determiners and adjectives. Less successful books had a higher percentage of verbs, adverbs, and foreign words and also relied heavily on clichés, extreme and negative words. Read more here.

In a study by Jason Warnick, PhD, a behavioral neuroscientist at Arkansas Tech University in Russelville, evidence shows that outcomes of boxing matches can be predicted based on the boxer’s use of language immediately before the bout.

The study was based on interviews, press conference quotes, and press release statements given by professional boxers before boxing matches during a 21-month time span. The study revealed that several patterns were associated with winning a bout: words conveying positive emotions, words focusing on health, and words focusing on work.

In the movie business, Vinny Bruzzese has started a service he calls script evaluation. For a hefty fee, Bruzzese and his team of analysts compare the story structure and genre of a draft script with those of released movies, looking for clues to box-office success. The researchers are basically analyzing the words in the script. Read more here.

So, when we are communicating with a prospect or strategic alliance, our words are critical. Without realizing it, the words we say could be having a serious impact on our success. As of yet there hasn’t been a statistical analysis (that I am aware of) looking at the words that successful financial advisors use, but there has been a lot of speculation and observation about what works. If you want more – check out the article in Research Magazine called “The Power of Words.”

The key takeaway: We all need to choose our words carefully – or perhaps more carefully – with great awareness on what works and what doesn’t. Your words matter, and they can make all the difference!

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