How many would agree listening is an important tool for all financial advisors? If you don’t agree, something is wrong.
In fact, listening is arguably one of the most important tools a financial advisor, or business owner for that matter can have in their arsenal.
Yet, listening isn’t always easy — especially when you feel like you have a lot to say and the client just won’t stop talking. Well, it might be a hard pill to swallow, but you’ve got to let them talk.
There are many barriers to good listening, but here are a few of the most common:
Extroverts are notoriously bad at listening — no surprise, right? By nature, extroverts feel the need to be at the epicenter of every situation and conversation. Listening doesn’t quite fit the bill in that regard.
If you’re an extrovert, you have to practice exceptional patience and control not to dominate the conversation with your own input. The value of listening encourages your client to trust you, and will thus reap innumerable rewards.
Lack of self-awareness is a massive roadblock to effective listening and one of the hardest to curb. Essentially, it’s a problem you don’t even know you have! In fact, most people believe they are better than average listeners when the opposite is true.
Ask a peer or trusted colleague to rate your listening skills and be ready for the truth, should it be different than you imagined.
Empathy is different from sympathy; empathy requires one to put themselves in the shoes of another and feel what they are feeling.
Those who are unable to empathize generally have higher levels of narcissism, as they genuinely don’t care about others feelings.
For a financial advisor, lack of empathy will lead to short-lived relationships, as you’re not able to truly see your clients and their needs.
Like anything else, listening takes practice, patience and consistency, but if you stick with it, the results can change the nature of your business beyond what you imagined.