Imagine you find yourself dreaming.
It’s an odd dream, one of those lucid ones where you know you’re dreaming but carry on regardless, like you’re watching a film you happen to be in.
In this one you’re not an adviser, you’re a client.
You’re in a room of some sort. The walls keep shifting in form, sometimes they look like curtains, the next you peer unsuccessfully to catch a glimpse of your face in some sort of mirrored windows (because you don’t feel like “you”), then a moment later you see two simple white walls.
Then they appear.
Two people who for some unknown reason you know are advisers. There is no indication of why – your vision is blurry and it’s hard to tell even whether they are male or female. Dressed well, smiling faces but you feel uneasy without knowing why.
The one on the left begins to speak.
(S)he speaks quickly and for some reason, almost like (s)he’s reading your mind, begins to recount the details of a conversation it would seem you just had. (S)he outlines in vivid detail what you know to be a perfect reconstruction of a life you want to lead.
Then (s)he pauses, and says…
“Would you like me to tell you how I can help?”
You feel yourself nodding, so (s)he begins to tell you. (S)he tells you about the expertise (s)he has, the wide body of knowledge (s)he possesses, and the wealth of experience the team can bring to bear on making things happen.
Suddenly (s)he goes quiet, almost like a puppet whose strings have suddenly been cut.
You become aware of the second figure on the right again. (S)he #2 has been there all along, but for some reason, you’ve only just remembered this.
(S)he #2 begins to speak. The tone differs, words too but the spiel is the same. The recounting of that perfect life you want to lead reflected back at you better than you ever could have said it.
Then a pause, followed by almost the very same question. Almost.
“Would you like me to show you how I can help?”
You nod again, but the response this time is very different.
This is not about expertise, it’s about methodology. An ethos. A philosophy. A system that has been applied to the circumstances of clients just like you over many years to achieve the result you’re looking for. A team that understands that process, believe in it and follow it. (S)he draws a diagram, and it explains it all so clearly you understand it before you read the detail… and then (s)he waits.
They speak in unison.
“Who would you like to work with?”
…and you’re left with a choice to make between expertise or a system.