One of my financial planner clients made an astute observation when he said:
“It takes a lot of courage for a client to meet with a financial planner.”
He understands that when he first meets with a new client, or even an existing one, they may have a lot on their mind.
The same would probably go for us too if the roles were reversed, right?
This is why it is important that we can put ourselves in the shoes of our client and understand where they are coming from.
Your financial planning clients’ biggest fears
There are fears to which we can all probably relate. For example:
*We worry about the future and what it might hold for us.
*The subject of money can bring up a lot of insecure thinking.
*One of our greatest fears is of looking stupid, admitting our mistakes, and being judged.
Your number one job
Many financial planners and advisers fail to realise that these fears are at the forefront of a client’s mind.
After all, where in your professional training does it bother to mention this at all?
A client comes to a meeting with a busy mind, full of their fears and concerns and the adviser gets straight into a left-brained, intellectual conversation about fees, markets, and products.
This is of no help to the client. In fact, it confirms their fears.
For the experience of financial planning to be an engaging, compelling, and rewarding one, your client must be in a clear, settled state of mind.
So, the number one job is to first relax your client so they feel safe, secure, and that they will not be judged.
Only then can a meaningful conversation begin to happen.
How do you relax your client?
Whilst there is a lot of prescriptive advice available on creating better meetings, very little of it, if any, addresses the most significant factor…
Your clarity of mind. (If you want to know more I recommend reading ‘Clarity‘.)
Real human connection happens when we drop thinking. And we, as the professional person, must take the lead in this.
Lose your label
One of the greatest challenges for professional people is dropping their identity as the expert.
I understand that you may have spent hundreds of hours gaining your qualifications and be an expert. Yet to the degree you carry this identity into a client meeting will be the degree to which you compromise human connection.
Human beings connected with each other. Personas don’t.
The main point is that the quality and effectiveness of a meeting is not determined by the content. It is a result of the tone, or the feeling in the room.
By becoming more aware that the client’s experience is everything and understanding how to guide yourself and your clients into healthier, more productive states of mind, your results will soar.
PS. The most magical client meetings are where people are in ‘the zone’ or a state of ‘flow’. Click here to read, ‘A simple guide to living in flow’.