The Client-centred Blog

The key to doing transformational client work – you go first

A couple of years ago I attended a conference in Oslo and one of my memories is of Dr. Aaron Turner make a particularly powerful point.

Aaron shared a story about a time he was holidaying in Hawaii with his family. They were spending some time on the beach and he was standing in the sea enjoying the warm water.

Even though the water was only knee deep he said he remembered a little voice in his head telling him “You should get out now”.

But he ignored it.

A few moments later he was completely swept off his feet by a powerful rip tide and quickly began to be carried away from the beach. He tried to swim back but the current was far too strong.

Fortunately, he was seen and brought safely back to shore.

The point he was making was that we always have this inner voice or inner intelligence to guide us and yet, as he did on that occasion, we often ignore it.

I was reflecting on my own journey through life because it is not just situations that concern our personal safety we get insights about.

As we entered the early 2000’s I had built up a small but thriving IFA practice and yet my inner voice was urging me to take a different direction.

Even though the thoughts were persistent I was initially not willing to trust them. There seemed to be a lot at stake and yet, as so often is the case, life finds a way of waking you up.

Around this time I had got interested in meditation and found a teacher who taught me Transcendental Meditation, which involves meditating twice day.

Six months after I began my twice daily meditation I had made arrangements to sell my practice and become a full time coach.

Looking back I believe the meditation allowed my mind to quieten down enough to stop over-riding my inner voice and follow my heart.

On many occasions the challenges that my coaching clients bring to our sessions are not the real issue at all. As we dig deeper they often discover that they have been over-riding their inner voice too.

Sometimes the reason we push it away is that it means confronting something that may be uncomfortable. But not always.

Whatever transpires it is always what is meant to happen.

As a financial planner, you too can be a catalyst in helping your clients listen to their inner voice. And it is useful to remember that just one thought can change a life.

The highest value clients will get from you will not be the crunching of the numbers, the products you put in place or the investment return they get (unless this is as far as you are willing to go).

These things are simply the means to an end, not the end itself.

What takes a service from transactional to transformational for your clients is them experiencing the powerful, reassuring clarity of knowing what they are planning for is truly meaningful to them.

Never under-estimate just how valuable this is and what a game-changer it can be.

I wrote ‘The Client-centred Financial Adviser’ to not only give advisers the essential tools to create a transformational experience for their clients but, first and foremost, so they can experience their own transformation.

Doing transformational client work requires you going there first and being true to yourself.

If you are not used to following your inner voice it can, at first, seem unfamiliar or, as I mentioned, even uncomfortable. But it is the foundation of living an authentic life that reflects who you really are and the key to thriving rather than just surviving.

Do you want to discover the secret to creating compelling, productive meetings that your clients love? To get your FREE copy of the ‘What every adviser ought to know about Client Engagement!’ report and other exclusive content click here.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Leave a Comment

Related articles

The amazing power of questions
As a financial planner or adviser people come to you for your knowledge and expertise. Yet, first and foremost, you must create a context for advice so that when it is provided, people successfully implement it and get the outcome they want. The only way I have found of creating this context is to ask appropriate, intelligent questions and listen very carefully.
Financial Planner? Are you selling drills or holes?
In my career as a financial adviser the training and qualification process was all about pensions, investments, insurances, tax, markets, trusts, risk, and so on. So, in the beginning this is what I talked to people about because this is what I thought you did. It did not occur to me until several years later that I was selling something that no one really wanted.
How to get more financial planning referrals
Would you like to generate more high quality financial planning referrals?
Why financial planning clients are paying for leadership
Why do clients seek out professional help from a financial planner or adviser? Specific reasons are many, but fundamentally it comes down to only two things: 1. They have a problem to solve 2. They want to feel better  This is how value is created and this article explores a core factor in this process.
Your social self verses your professional self
Finances are a challenging subject for many people, perhaps most. So, for someone to seek out a financial planner or advisers help is a big deal. Yet just because someone receives good financial advice does this mean they will automatically be successful in achieving what they want?
How to ask great financial planning questions
Asking great financial planning questions is the foundation of creating a highly compelling plan for your client. When your client can clearly see that their financial plan is going to be an essential part of getting what they most want then why wouldn't they be excited about it?
When is your financial advisory client ready for deeper conversations?
Do you want to have deeper conversations with your clients but concerned about whether they are ready? If so, you are not alone. A typical scenario is that a financial adviser has a transactional relationship with a client and wants to shift to a financial planning relationship.
Listening is a super power
Perhaps the most underrated skill for a financial planner or adviser is listening. Is there anything more important? I appreciate that you need to know what you are talking about. Yet this is a given, isn't it?
A simple formula for making more money
Would you like your career as a financial planner or adviser to be more financially rewarding? I sometimes have conversations with advisers who are not enjoying what they do. Some even say they are thinking of leaving the business altogether. Often, at the root of this is that they are not making enough money.
The importance of relaxing your financial planning client
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.
How to have a great first conversation 
The first conversation you have with a potential client sets the tone for everything that comes afterwards. Therefore, it is essential to make it a great conversation, meaning that the person feels listened to, understood, and completely trusts you.
The power of creating client agreements
This article is about a powerful, proven way you can add significant value to all your client relationships. So, let me share with you a recent experience of the process in action. I have just spent three days in London as part of the AJC Coaching Career School.
Value creation: the key to happy, loyal clients
This article is about value creation and why it is the key to happy, loyal clients and a thriving practice. Over the past couple of weeks, I have had two services come up for renewal. One was my car breakdown cover and the other was my car insurance. In both cases the premium had increased by almost 30% from last year. So, I rang both providers and invited them to reconsider their offer.
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: "Spending my time meeting with clients." Is this true for you?
Financial planner? Stop trying to prove your value
Do you ever concern yourself with trying to prove your value to a client or potential client? If so, you would be far from alone.  It can be tempting to try and be impressive and this can be especially true in the sales process. Yet it is also destructive.  So, this article is about how you become free of that burden and naturally convey value without trying.
Why slow down your financial planning conversations?
This article is about slowing down your financial planning conversations. But what does this mean and what makes it worth doing? Slowing down your conversations does not mean speaking slower or dragging out a conversation for no reason. That would make no sense. It is about creating significantly more value for your clients.
Why is a client’s well-being at the core of financial planning?
Just recently I read an article in Professional Adviser about how financial advisers see financial well-being in relation to financial planning (according to a study by Standard Life). The research showed that 71% of advisers view supporting financial well-being as a secondary part of their business in comparison with financial planning in general. Only 22% of advisers say supporting financial well-being is a 'core part of their business'.
The timeless wisdom of Charlie Munger
Charlie Munger (now 99 years young) is a billionaire businessman, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and business partner of Warren Buffett, one of the greatest investors of all time. He is asked about the secret to a long and happy life, and he replies: ...
How to have clients sell financial planning to themselves
A realisation that has been extremely helpful to me is that you can never want something for your client more than they want it for themselves. In this way, financial planning is almost certainly going to be most beneficial when a client sells it to themselves. This article explores why this is and one of the most effective ways to have it happen.
Why challenging your financial planning clients is great for business
The key difference between a transactional financial adviser a 'Trusted adviser' is how the adviser is positioned in the mind of the client. As a 'Trusted Adviser' you are someone a client turns to for your valued input, advice, opinion, help with key decisions, and possibly coaching. A good description shared with me by a financial planner is that a 'Trusted Adviser' is a member of a client’s 'inner circle'.
How to make your financial planning meetings better than ever
Do you want to conduct outstandingly good financial planning meetings? This seems exceptionally important to me because the quality of the meetings you conduct are the foundation of building a thriving, profitable, and sustainable practice. This article is about the number one way to achieve consistent and continual improvement of your financial planning meetings and get all the rewards for doing so.
Deep rapport and why it matters
Rapport is an essential element in creating strong, productive and lasting client relationships. It is also a highly significant factor in not only the provision of financial planning and advice, but also whether your client follows it. Below is a link to an audio recording (18m39s) where I take a look at:
The most popular client-centred blog posts of 2022
What have financial planners been most interested in over the past year? The following are my most popular client-centred blog posts of 2022. Most importantly, none of this would be possible without you. Thank you for your valuable time and attention - you are very much appreciated.
The 12 client-centred mind shifts - part 4
When 'The Client-centred financial adviser' was published back in 2015 the core message in that book was that who you are being is massively more significant than what you are doing. I even wrote a chapter titled, 'Being is the new doing'. For many years in my own business, I had focused upon doing with no real thought as to how I was being.
5 truths to help financial planners prosper in turbulent times
What prompted this article were a number of conversations I have recently had with financial planners who were worried about the current trading environment.  So, how do financial planners prosper in turbulent times when the economy is contracting, clients are tightening their belts, and media is spreading doom and gloom?
The 8 keys to inspiring financial planning meetings every time!
There are specific and predictable keys that result in inspiring financial planning meetings every time. And by paying attention and making consistent progress with each key, you are: 1. No longer leaving the quality of your meetings to chance. 2. Raising the bar to an exceptionally high level. In this article I list the 8 essential keys that contribute to an inspiring, repeatable process.
The 12 client-centred mind shifts - part 2
You almost certainly have clients that are worried about their finances, what might happen in future, and if they are doing the right things. We are living in challenging times. Some advisers avoid their clients at times like this. They don't want to tell them their investments have gone down or be faced with having to explain themselves.
What makes a client want to engage a financial planner?
A successful financial planner I work with remarked to me that no one ever approaches him for a financial planning engagement. Instead, there is usually a trigger event that leads a client to thinking they want a financial product, financial issue solved, or investment advice. So, how do you shift the conversation?
The most powerful two word financial planning question
This articles shares a two-word financial question that can significantly increase the value of financial planning for a client. It is also be great for opening up new business opportunities too. So, let me share how I was inspired to write this post.
Top 10 ways to capture and keep your financial planning client’s attention
To make financial planning meaningful and a good investment for your client it requires them to be fully engaged and do their best thinking in your meetings. Yet we also live in a society where an ever-increasing number of things are competing for our attention. People have shorter and shorter attention spans. So, how do you capture and keep your financial planning client’s attention?
Want more financial planning referrals? This MUST happen first
Good financial planning referrals from happy existing clients are one of the best ways to grow your practice. Yet to create a regular and increasing flow of quality referrals there is something that MUST happen first. Let me share a story.
Top 10 coaching books for financial planners
If you are doing genuine financial planning where you are helping your client identify and accomplish their goals and live the life they want then coaching them is a necessity. After all, life is full of distractions and people come off track all the time. For example, people can lose focus or their sense of purpose. From time to time they may feel discouraged, disheartened, or overwhelmed.
How to run magical financial planning review meetings - every time
When a client relationship is new it will feel fresh, engaging, and there will often be a lot to do. You are getting to know your client, they are getting to know you, and important issues are being dealt with. But how do you keep financial planning review meetings fresh, insightful, and inspiring, year after year?
How to sell more financial planning: stop giving advice
Do you want to sell more financial planning and boost your income? If so, then stopping giving financial advice might seem totally counter-intuitive, right? In this article I explore why holding back from giving advice can consistently help you sell more financial planning and serve your clients better.
The right way to set financial planning goals
In this article, you are going to discover how to help your clients set financial planning goals, the right way. You are also going to learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy goals and how this makes a massive difference to your client’s level of motivation, inspiration, and enjoyment of life now.
Highly effective rapport building for financial planners
A deep rapport with your client is the foundation for a productive, profitable, and long-lasting relationship. Therefore, being highly effective at quickly building and maintaining a deep rapport is an essential skill for financial planners.
A simple guide to influencing financial planning clients
Do you want to become more effective at influencing financial planning clients? In this simple guide I explore one of the most crucial factors of influence you can apply immediately for better results.
One of the best financial planning questions and how to use it
Often, the best financial planning questions are the ones that help a client to open up and think more deeply. Why is this important? Because the impact of your financial planning and advice is directly correlated to quality of the information you gather from your client.
How do you become a great financial planner... not just good?
How do you become a great financial planner? One who has a powerful, positive impact in the lives of your clients? Of course, there are many attributes but one in particular stands out. Read on to discover what this is and why it is so important. What do clients look for in a financial adviser?
Clients are not willing to pay fees for financial planning - really?
“Clients are not willing to pay fees for financial planning!” This was the bold claim of an adviser in a post I recently read on LinkedIn. You might refer to this as a 'gross generalisation' because, quite clearly, there are many people who do already pay fees for financial planning.
Should you take notes in a financial planning meeting?
What is the right approach to note taking in financial planning meetings? This is a question that often comes up in my coaching programmes with financial planners. So, let's take a closer look.
4 ways to create massive value financial planning meetings
How to do a brilliant financial planning fact find
Doing a brilliant financial planning fact find underpins everything that you do for a client. It is what differentiates you from other financial planners and is a golden opportunity to build exceptional relationships and provide massive value. But there are also two very different elements to fact finding.
How to successfully sell financial planning
Genuine financial planning is very different from providing purely transactional financial advice. So, how you sell financial planning is a different kind of conversation too. Would you like it to be easier to sell financial planning engagements?
The hidden secret to high-impact financial planning meetings
Do you want to have your financial planning meetings be high-impact, high-engagement experiences for both your clients and you? Of course! We all want this, don't we?
5 steps financial planners can take to becoming a better listener
As a financial planner what value is there in becoming a better listener? Is it worth your time, effort, and focus to improve? This article explores the value of deep listening and 5 practical steps you can take to immediately become a better listener.
Asking essential financial planning questions: the ones that no one else thinks to ask
This article looks at an important aspect of asking financial planning questions that often get neglected. Often, financial advice is triggered when something happens or is going to happens in a client’s life. For instance, the sale of a business, divorce, or an upcoming retirement.
How financial planners can build instant trust with clients
As a financial planner building instant trust with clients is one of the biggest obstacles you will need to overcome. This article looks at a different yet highly effective approach.
Getting financial planning clients - the only obstacle
Getting financial planning clients is the number one challenge for many advisers. But why is it such a challenge? It is not for the reasons that most people think...
What is the most important financial planning question of all?
Do you want to have greater impact with your clients, create more value, and escape the diminishing world of transactional financial advice? If so, there is an important financial planning question.
Presenting your clients financial plan - the key to success
Great people skills - in an instant!
Is it possible to have great people skills in an instant?
Why is your financial planning practice culture the key to delivering exceptional service?
Are you committed to delivering exceptional client service? If so, employees who genuinely care, communicate well, and take responsibility are the key. The foundation of this resides in the business culture you create.
Are your financial planning conversations too nice?
What is the difference between a financial advisory conversation and a financial planning conversation?
Should Financial Planners stop talking about retirement?
Why should financial planners choose their language carefully in their financial planning conversations with clients?
Understanding your client’s world – key number 1
Financial Advice is so often delivered in very unimaginative ways that has little difference to how the majority of practitioners deliver it.