Talking about money is second nature to financial advisors.
But to the average Joe finances can make even the most relaxed person cringe.
Clearly talking about finances is our business. So if we can’t get our clients to open up and be relaxed, it’s unlikely we will be able to do an effective job, if one at all!
If you’ve come across a client like this before then stick with me. I’m going to highlight some easy steps for getting clients to open up and to have a productive conversation — one where everyone will be able to walk away feeling comfortable.
Yes, you’re having a business meeting in which the objective is to talk about finances, but you already know how important relationships are to what we do.
If you go straight into the numbers game you’ll come off as cold and likely make your client uncomfortable. Focus on building a bond with your clients and the rest will unfold much more easily.
Piggybacking off of number one, this is a great way to start establishing a bond with your clients.
Take the beginning of your meeting to share some personal information about yourself; this will help establish trust.
It’s not necessary to go super deep, you could talk about why you became a financial advisor or how you’ve helped people in the past.
Now it’s time for you to listen and learn.
This meeting should be less like a sales-pitch and more like a therapy session—you want to come away with a solid understanding of your clients’ pain points, their fears, their motivations, etc.
Make sure you are paying attention to their non-verbal cues such as voice tone and body language.
It’s essential that you and your clients be on the same page about their main concerns.
If they are pre-retirees then they are likely concerned about losing control of their money in the future.
As for retirement, it can bring on much more like leaving behind a work and social life or more time at home with a spouse. Talking through different aspects of their concerns will help develop a relationship.
While many clients may have a small idea of what they are working towards, they may not have been pushed to consider the big picture before.
That’s where you come in: ask them open-ended questions and encourage them to be as specific as possible. Once you have established their goals, you can start to build their best financial plan.
Have you run into the problem of money-shy clients before? How were you able to comfort them and build a relationship? We want to hear about your experiences—leave a comment below!
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