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.
I have noticed there can be a concern with some advisers about how a client may react to deeper conversations. For instance?
*What if the client reacts negatively?
*What if they do not respond to deeper questions?
*What if they do not want a financial planning relationship?
I appreciate that these reasons may seem valid but let us take a step back for a moment and look at the bigger picture.
What are clients interested in?
Putting yourself in the shoes of a client, what do you think would be more engaging for you?
1. A conversation about products, investments, or what the markets are doing.
2. A deeper conversation about you, what is important to you, and living the life you want.
Advisers can talk far too much technobabble to clients
Because it is the ‘safe ground’ for advisers, many talk far too much about products, investments, and financial strategies.
Yet what this can easily do is undermine trust, not build it. Why?
Because it is self-oriented. Products, investments, and financial strategies are in the adviser’s world. Whilst they are part of the overall picture they are the vehicle, not the destination. So what is the destination? What clear purpose are the products going to serve? What is the ‘why’ that will drive decision making?
Psychologist William James said:
‘The greatest need of the human soul is the need for appreciation, the need to feel important.’
So, how do you make someone feel important?
Give them one hundred percent of your attention and be curious about them and their world. This is the foundation of being experienced by your client as a ‘Trusted adviser’. (click here to read, ‘The little understood power of the present moment’).
When is a client ready for deeper conversations?
Rather than it being when the client is ready, it has far more to do with when the adviser is ready.
If you are behind what you are doing then the vast majority of clients will enjoy deeper conversations. It is also highly likely that you are the only person in their life that is willing to deeply explore what they want and truly listen to them.
The fast track to mastering deeper conversations
The best way to understand the impact of a deeper conversation is to experience it for yourself. Not as the adviser but as a client. This has been of more help to me than anything else.
You could work with a colleague on this or even better, work with a coach or a financial planner to take you through the experience.
The reason this is powerful is because the dynamic of working with someone is completely different to trying to figure it out on your own.
Lastly, if deeper conversations with clients is something new for you and you feel a little apprehensive, that is ok. Everyone feels this way when they do something new. Please do not allow a little fear to stop you.
The fear is there because you genuinely care and this is a good sign, not a bad one.
P.S. Do you want to become a master of asking great questions? If so, check out the, ‘Financial Planning Power Questions’.