In the dating world, being “too forward” generally means trying to advance a relationship at a pace that is too fast for comfort; being too confident and direct in what is said, to a point that may not be socially acceptable. The general remedy in the dating world, then, is to “take it slow” and allow the relationship to build trust before trying to advance a relationship to the next stage. Of course, building a trusting relationship is not unique to the dating world; many of the exact same dynamics apply in building the planner-client relationship. Yet in practice, because financial planning relationships must move to an implementation stage after “relatively” few meetings, planners often must be very forward during the sensitive relationship-building phase. But how far is too far? Have you been asking your clients to get naked on the first date?
As the popularity of social media rises – from Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter – advisors are increasingly asking “what’s all the buzz about” and “why should I care?” As many point out, planners develop new clients primarily by getting referrals from existing clients, and having face-to-face meetings to get to know them better. No one makes a decision about who to give their life savings to based on a Facebook page, right!? Perhaps, but a focus on the new business development opportunities from social media misses an important but crucial point – there’s already plenty of value to be derived from social media, just by connecting to your EXISTING clients, to deepen the personal relationship you already have with them!Read More…
Being a good financial planner is not just about having the knowledge and information to direct clients on how to best achieve their goals and financial success.
Ultimately, most would agree that the true measure of success is to look at how effective the planner is in actually helping clients achieve those goals; in other words, does the client actually have an improved path to success because of the planner’s involvement. In turn, this means that the planner’s true success hinges not only upon having the right advice, but also depends upon the client actually implementing that advice, and the planner’s ability help those clients make the required changes!
There’s just one problem: it turns out that telling people what to do is actually a terrible way to get them to do it!Read More…
Are you a "good" sleeper, able to fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow, or to take a nap at a moment’s notice? As it turns out, if this describes you, it is almost certainly a sign that you are severely sleep deprived, to the point that it is adversely impacting your alertness in client meetings!
Any financial planner who has worked with a client through some “market turbulence” or an outright bear market is well aware of the stress that market uncertainty can bring to the client. But how often do we look at the stress that market uncertainty brings to the financial planner vis-a-vis the client relationship?
We often evaluate the quality of a conversation by its activity; the pace of the back-and-forth banter can be used as a barometer of how engaged someone is in the discussion. Given our tendency to find comfort in sustained dialogue – thus the phrase "awkward silence" – I was very struck to see the following profound tweet: "Get comfortable with silence. Some of the most important things clients say follows silence."