The Client-centred Blog

Client meetings: why speak from your heart and not just your head?

If you were forced to do just one activity in your business and had to relinquish all else, what would that one activity be?

In my experience most advisers would say:

“Client meetings”

Is this true for you?

If so, this article is about how you can leverage your client meetings make them even more valuable, both for your clients and you.

What do most advisers do?

Financial advice is so often treated as a hard fact, analytical, number crunching, technical, and intellectual process.

In part, it is.

Yet as this is where most advisers are comfortable, it is what they tend to stick to like glue.

The problem with this approach is that it is very one dimensional. It creates very little differentiation from any other adviser and fails to be engaging for most clients. Some will find it overwhelming.

The head and heart of client meetings

For a conversation to be highly engaging for a client it needs to involve the heart, not just the head. The words we speak are not the power of our communication; it is the feeling behind the words that creates impact.

Heart centred communication means that there is a deeper human connection, emotional engagement, openness, reflection, and insight.

How do you know if you are communicating from head or heart?

When we are communicating from our heads, our mind is busier. From this place client meetings tend to be an exchange of information, transactional, and outcome driven.

This may be functional, but it also puts up a barrier to deeper human connection and all the power that comes with this.

When we communicate from the heart, we feel calm, clear, and relaxed. Deeper rapport occurs naturally. We are intuitively responsive to the client because our attention is fully on them, not on our own thoughts.

This is the foundation for very high quality client meetings and for your communication having far greater impact.

Exploring soft facts can only be done effectively at this level.

Knowing how your mind works is the key

The state of mind that you take into client meetings is by far the greatest determinant of the quality of the meeting.

Your state of mind determines depth of the rapport you create, the level of trust that you build, the comfort of your client, the quality of your listening, and the flow of a meeting.

My experience is that the bias of most financial planners and advisers is communicating from the head. This is what the training and qualification process teaches you to do.

This is why the core of my work with financial planners and advisers is an understanding of how your mind works.

This understanding brings greater awareness to your state of mind and allows you to move between head and heart more easily.

Does it help?

Financial planner Paul Tracey shares his experience:

‘My experience is that having gained an understanding of state of mind and the importance of being totally present at client meetings it meant that I discarded most of my distractions such as meeting agendas so that my focus is on what the clients are telling me rather than thinking about the next point on the agenda. I am more relaxed and calm before and during the meetings due to the fact that I am not busy minded with all of the stuff that I used to be thinking about. In turn that makes be more present, so I can truly listen to the client. This has created a massive improvement in both the clients and my experience of meetings and ultimately and improved outcome for all concerned.’

PS. I highly recommend listening to a conversation I had with Paul. Click here to get the link.  

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