To succeed in financial services and planning, you must realize that it’s a relationship business. I’ve found that the ability to really listen and form personal connections with clients is a huge competitive edge you can gain.
Many people are just looking for someone to talk to not only about finances, but anything in general. If you can be that person for your client, you will surely gain their trust more quickly than if you are strictly business.
You can start building client trust and get some useful information for your work. I recommend these questions (in no particular order) to open the dialogue with clients.
This will give you insight into their experience with financial planning. If they have worked with someone else before, find out why they ended the business relationship. This can give you a gauge of their working style and help you avoid any similar issues.
Even if you have a pretty good idea of why they are seeking help, it never hurts to get the story straight. There are various reasons why people seek financial advisors; whatever their reason is to make sure you can meet their needs.
What are their goals for the future? What steps have they been taking to meet them? This is a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your value by reassuring them or guiding them on the path to reach their objectives.
This question is meant to be casual and can take you through various topics—from retirement planning to insurance coverage, to budgeting. If you’re going to help your clients accomplish their goals, it’s important to understand their starting point.
This is where you’ll start to see your clients clearly. Everyone has different goals and approaches, which makes it impossible to have a “one size fits all” financial strategy. Changes are any major life events that have significant financial implications.
A few examples include aging parents, starting a family, saving for grandchildren, college tuition payments, student loan/mortgage payoffs, home ownership, or starting a small business.
What is the driving force behind your client? Being able to determine what motivates them will allow you to align your financial strategy with their purpose and vision.
Whatever their answer is here, take note. If you don’t ask this question, you are just blindly guessing what their objectives are. Allow yourself to use your expertise to put their anxieties at bay.
To help clients reach their financial goals, you must understand their spending habits. This can help you identify if your client is a frugal saver or extravagant spender.
Have you been asking these questions before? Would you add anything else to this list? Leave a comment and let us know! Running a Seven Figure Firm didn’t happen overnight — that’s why I’m sharing everything I know with you.
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