As increasing numbers of new financial advisors enter the industry through support roles (e.g., analysts, paraplanners, and associate advisors), many newer advisors today spend much of their time on ‘back-end’ tasks like data input and analysis rather than meeting with clients (which is reserved for more-experienced lead advisors). Which means that, while many newer advisors have the opportunity to deepen their technical financial planning expertise early in their careers (simply via the day-to-day tasks of their roles), the same may not be true when it comes to mastering the skills necessary to meet and communicate with clients in a one-to-one setting.
Accordingly, for newer advisors who plan to progress into lead advisor roles – and for more-experienced advisors looking to enhance their client communication abilities – practicing client meeting skills can be a valuable way to improve their ability to communicate effectively with their clients. But ironically, many advisors do not get a chance to practice these skills until they actually start to meet with clients—which, given the nuance and complexity of many conversations around clients’ finances, can be somewhat akin to learning how to build an airplane while it is already flying!
A better approach to deepening client meeting skills may be to find (or create) opportunities to practice those skills before meeting with clients. Because, contrary to many people's intuition, the ability to communicate effectively in a client meeting is not an inherent trait limited to extroverted personality types; rather, it is a skill that can be learned and mastered through regular and deliberate practice. And by practicing the most essential of those skills – which include meeting preparation, creating supporting materials, time and agenda management to stay on topic, and active and passive listening to create an environment of open communication with the client – advisors can improve their performance when they get the opportunity to hold a real client meeting, no matter their level of extroversion!
While formal opportunities for newer advisors to practice client meeting skills are not always readily available, advisors do have several options that they can explore based on their goals and available resources. One is to hold mock client meetings with other advisors, which can provide hands-on practice at presenting and managing a meeting (as well as giving valuable feedback from the other participants). Additionally, on-demand virtual training courses (such as Amplified Planning’s CORE program) allow enrollees to observe real client-meeting scenarios while providing additional learning tools to help advisors deepen their skillset. Finally, more comprehensive training programs, like ACP’s Success, Money Quotient’s True Wealth, and Kinder Institute’s EVOKE training, go beyond client meetings to teach whole systems of financial planning and client communication (which may require an advisor’s buy-in to a specific planning philosophy, but can also provide intensive training to incorporate that philosophy into all aspects of the advisor’s process, including client meetings).
Ultimately, good client meeting skills are about creating an environment where the advisor and client can communicate openly. It follows, then, that practicing client meeting skills can improve an advisor’s overall ability to communicate with their clients. Which, given that clients generally value advisors who communicate openly and honestly with them, means that enhancing client meeting skills (by practicing them before meeting with clients) can also make advisors more trusted – and more valuable – in the eyes of their clients!
In the days when the financial advice industry was primarily driven by product sales, the skill that often mattered most was the ability to sell. However, in recent years, there has been a growing emphasis by the financial planning community on connecting and communicating with clients, recognizing that these skills are essential for building strong and lasting client relationships. And with the growth of the fiduciary model (and the emphasis on providing advice over selling products), client communication has taken on increased importance in the advisor’s skillset.
This trend is exemplified by the CFP Board’s addition of “Psychology of Financial Planning” to the list of principal knowledge domains on the CFP exam starting in March 2022. The domain encompasses topics such as client and planner attitudes, values, and biases, behavioral finance, sources of money conflict, and principles of counseling and general client communication. Alongside more technical financial planning skills (such as investment management and tax planning), client communication – specifically, understanding the client’s wants and needs, and delivering advice in a way that actually ‘sticks’ – is now considered a key competency required of CFP practitioners for delivering financial advice.
Perhaps the most fundamental medium through which advisors and their clients communicate is the face-to-face (or, in today’s world, screen-to-screen) meeting. Despite all the advances in communications technology today and the proliferation of email, texting, and messaging apps, meetings are still at the center of many advisors’ client interactions. Because they are often the primary way in which information is delivered to (and received from) clients – as well as being the genesis of many critical personal connections that bind advisors and clients together – client meetings can offer the greatest chance for advisors to put their communication skills to use while coaching and counseling their clients.
A meeting is an exchange of information (which can be verbal, nonverbal, written, or graphical) between the advisor and client, and meetings often result in decisions that can have important ramifications for the client’s financial wellbeing. Holding a successful client meeting, then, requires more than just the ability to hold a conversation; rather, it involves a specific set of skills (which advisors can continually develop) that can make it easier to effectively communicate with their clients during meetings – that is, to facilitate the flow of information so both the advisor and the client have the information they need to come to a well-informed decision.
These skills can range from determining how the meeting itself is structured – for example, setting the agenda, controlling the pace of the meeting, and using supporting materials effectively – as well as interacting with clients in a way that creates a sense of ease in their mind, so they are comfortable sharing deeply personal and potentially sensitive information. And, like any skill, client meeting skills can be learned and mastered through repeated, deliberate practice.
For financial advisors who are new to the industry, however, it can be difficult to find opportunities to learn and practice client meeting skills. But when the chance comes along to join or even lead a client meeting, it would be better to go in with at least a baseline level of skill than it would be to do so with no training or practice whatsoever. So for newer advisors – even those who may still be several years away from leading their own client meetings – establishing the foundations of good meeting skills, and practicing them before meeting with actual clients, can help to put them in a better position to lead successful meetings when the time comes for them to do so.
Therefore, it may be valuable for new advisors – and even for experienced advisors looking to refine their skills – to find opportunities where they can practice meeting skills that will help them create meaningful connections with their clients and offer more impactful advice.
Three Essential Meeting Skills For Financial Advisors
An effective client meeting relies on there being open communication between the advisor and the client(s), so the advisor can fully comprehend the client’s goals and give clear advice based on those goals. The skills for holding successful client meetings, therefore, often involve ensuring that the lines of communication between the advisor and client remain open throughout the meeting, so both parties can fully understand each other.
This can be done in numerous ways, and different advisors can have their own methods for creating open communication with their clients. But at a very basic level, essential client meeting skills for advisors generally fall into the following three categories:
- Pre-meeting preparation (which creates an overall purpose and structure for the meeting to accomplish a specific goal);
- Time and agenda management during the meeting itself (which keeps the meeting moving toward that goal); and
- Interpersonal communication (which helps the advisor ensure that their advice is truly in the client’s best interest and that the client understands and agrees with the advisor’s recommendations).
Preparing For The Client Meeting
A successful client meeting starts with preparation. First, the advisor needs to define the meeting’s overall purpose. What is the main goal that this meeting should accomplish? Is it meant to cover a specific step in the planning process, like organizing financial information or exploring the possibilities of the client’s current situation? Does it need to result in some sort of decision by the client? The purpose of the meeting will define which topics to prioritize and what types of materials to prepare; it will also provide a clear target for what needs to happen for the meeting to be a success.
Creating A Meeting Agenda
After defining the meeting’s purpose, the advisor can then decide what types of supporting materials to create to help guide the meeting toward that goal. The most important supporting document, and the one that should be brought to every client meeting, whatever the purpose, is the agenda.
The agenda serves as a road map for the meeting, laying out the topics to be discussed in order, from start to conclusion. It should clearly guide the conversation to serve an intended purpose or to make a particular decision. For the advisor, the agenda is effectively a checklist of items to cover during the meeting, ensuring that no topics are missed once the meeting gets underway. From the client’s perspective, an agenda removes some of the ‘unknowns’ of walking into a meeting with a financial advisor, which can help them feel comfortable enough to discuss their financial situation more freely by verifying that there will be no surprise sales pitches lurking around the corner.
An agenda can be simple or highly detailed, depending on how much structure the advisor wants to build into the meeting. But the advisor may also want to factor the client’s preference – and capacity! – for detail into the agenda’s design, which in practice often means that, similar to a one-page financial plan, a clean and easily readable document focusing on the most important information will be the most effective type of agenda. By clearly reflecting the meeting’s overall purpose and direction, the agenda will improve the likelihood of a successful meeting by giving both the advisor and the client a clear understanding of what the conversation is expected to cover.
In most cases, it is important to send the client a copy of the agenda at least 2–3 days in advance of the meeting (or even farther in advance, if the advisor assigns any pre-meeting tasks to the client like gathering or preparing documents). Providing an agenda in advance not only gives the client time to prepare any paperwork the advisor needs from them, but it also gives them an opportunity to give feedback and suggest topics that they want to cover but that weren’t on the original agenda.
Having this exchange of information before the meeting gives the advisor a chance to prepare for any ‘surprise’ topics the client may have otherwise brought up during the meeting itself (thereby reducing the potential number of post-meeting follow-up actions). By soliciting the client’s input, advisors also communicate that they care about the client’s needs and concerns.
Managing The Client Meeting
When the meeting day arrives, the advisor is responsible for ensuring that the meeting accomplishes its intended purpose. Even with a clear agenda, discussions can go off-topic and derail the meeting, causing conversations to run long or topics to be missed. In their role as “meeting manager”, then, advisors may (figuratively) step outside of the discussion on occasion to check on the meeting’s status. Is the conversation sticking to the agenda? Is there enough time remaining to cover everything that needs to be covered? Has the client had a chance to ask any questions yet? Organizing the meeting into discrete sections – which a meeting agenda helps to accomplish – gives the advisor moments to briefly pause between topics and perform these occasional check-ins.
A useful technique that advisors can use to keep their meetings on track is to use verbal “signposting” cues to clearly signal when the discussion is transitioning from one topic to the next.
A good signpost might sound like the following:
Now that we’ve summarized your current financial situation, do you have any questions, or may we move on to your retirement projections?
Signposting accomplishes two purposes: 1) It keeps the meeting on topic by demarcating agenda items, ensuring that each meeting topic is addressed in order (and, if the conversation strays off-topic, serves as an ‘on-ramp’ back to the agenda by transitioning back to the topic at hand); and 2) it keeps the client comfortable and engaged by giving them an opportunity to ask questions about one topic before moving on to the next. Asking the client’s permission to move on also gives them a sense of control over the meeting’s direction, which can help them feel more at ease and willing to communicate openly.
Preparing for and managing client meetings are key skills for an advisor to create an environment where they can effectively deliver financial advice. No matter how great the advisor’s technical financial planning knowledge, it will be difficult for the client to take away anything of value from the meeting if the important points are drowned in a sea of side discussions and irrelevant information. These skills provide structure, focus, and a sense of direction toward the meeting’s overall purpose in serving clients efficiently and professionally.
Along with these structural skills, financial advisors can also learn the more nuanced skills of one-on-one communication. These ‘soft’ skills, such as active and empathetic listening, help advisors show clients that they are truly concerned about being helpful and that they are skilled at identifying solutions to their issues carefully and compassionately (which can make clients more comfortable in opening up and sharing information that might be relevant to their financial plan). Perhaps most importantly, these skills help advisors discover vital information the client may have been initially hesitant to share, developing a valuable rapport that deepens the foundation of client trust essential to the relationship along the way.
Of all the communication skills required of financial advisors, listening may be one of the hardest to master. Many people rarely make an effort to truly listen to others, with the common tendency to cling to one’s own thoughts that interfere with processing what other people are saying. An advisor may have preconceived ideas about solutions or strategies that they bring into the meeting, but without truly listening to the client, it is difficult to be certain that those recommendations are really in their best interest.
By contrast, an advisor who is truly listening to their client is better able to fully absorb and process the information the client is trying to convey. As a result, the advisor’s recommendations grow naturally from the conversation itself and not from any preconceived ideas the advisor may have brought into the meeting. This doesn’t diminish the importance of pre-meeting preparation – brainstorming potential solutions can still be an important part of the process – but applying those solutions to the client’s actual needs and wants requires a deeper level of listening.
Good listening can be either active or passive, depending on how the advisor wants to engage with the client in the moment. Active listening involves distilling information received by the client and reflecting it back to them, which both ensures that the advisor has the correct grasp on the client’s message and makes the client aware of that fact – a subtle gesture that can create an additional layer of trust. It is often done after a client has spent some time talking – about their goals, their financial situation, or any other relevant topic – as a way to summarize and clarify the most important information before asking follow-up questions or proceeding to another topic.
On the other hand, passive listening is a nonverbal form of communication; the advisor pays attention and conveys this with cues such as leaning forward, maintaining eye contact, nodding, and mirroring the client’s own body language. This is often done while the client is talking, as a way to show them that it is OK to keep going without interrupting the client’s train of thought. With both active and passive listening, the point is not just to hear and process what the client is saying (though that part is also important!); it is also to show the client that they are being listened to, and to make them comfortable continuing or elaborating on their thoughts.
The acts of active and passive listening do not come naturally to most people and often require conscious effort before they begin to feel like natural processes. For newer advisors who are still mastering (and thus focusing on) the technical skills of financial planning, working on listening skills during client meetings can be challenging, as their minds are often busy connecting client information to relevant planning concepts to develop solutions (while their attention may be further stretched by the tasks of taking notes, asking questions, and trying to keep the discussion on topic).
This is why it is important to find (or create) opportunities to practice listening before meeting with clients. Like most skills, listening requires repeated practice until it becomes second nature. But because true listening can be so demanding of the brain’s resources, it is ironically not until the advisor is able to put less effort into listening that the best listening can take place, when the advisor is able to put their own self-consciousness aside and let the client take center stage in the conversation.
For Mastering Meeting Skills, Practice Beats Natural Ability
Because talking is the primary activity during client meetings, it is often assumed that extroverted advisors (with a natural talent for talking to people) might be inherently more skilled at meeting with clients than advisors who may be more introverted. The idea that an extroverted personality is necessary for obtaining and connecting with clients (and ultimately becoming a successful advisor) is, unfortunately, a common one.
As we have seen, however, there is much more to running an effective client meeting than being a natural conversationalist. And the types of skills required – which can range from structural and precise (like meeting preparation and follow-up) to personal and nuanced (like engaged listening) – do not necessarily favor any one personality type. In reality, when learning and deepening client meeting skills, all advisors are likely to be naturally stronger in some categories than others.
Which means that, for both extroverts and introverts, part of the process of learning client meeting skills might be identifying which skills might come more naturally, and which require more initial effort to gain facility. By understanding where their individual strengths and weaknesses lie, an advisor can focus their attention on deepening their skills in the areas that need the most attention.
Thankfully, however, the skills of holding a client meeting really are skills – not inherent traits – and are much more likely to be attained via study and practice than through natural ability. And, like any skill, meeting skills are learned and developed through practice.
In a way, conducting a good meeting is a lot like learning to shoot a basketball: the first few times might require a great deal of conscious thought just to get the motions right, but through continuous repetition, the process becomes second nature and eventually happens almost without thinking. In the same way, advisors may feel uncertain and self-conscious the first time they hold a client meeting, but after enough repetition, those feelings often fade into the background, letting the client and their story become the focus of the conversation.
One way for financial advisors to practice client meeting skills would be simply to meet with a lot of clients. This was, in fact, how advisors were once traditionally ‘trained’ in the financial product sales model when, after being hired, they were given few instructions other than to bring in as many clients as possible to meet and sell products to. If the advisor didn’t already have (or didn’t quickly learn) the skills needed to successfully meet with (and sell to) clients, their time in the industry would be short.
Such a sink-or-swim approach is less common today, however. More often, advisors are initially hired in a role such as a paraplanner or support advisor, where they may work behind the scenes preparing financial plans and reports with limited face-to-face contact with clients. Only after gaining more experience can they move up into a more client-facing role.
While this type of model can be helpful for newer advisors to practice their financial planning skills (as a core part of their job description), it often does not provide many opportunities for them to practice meeting with clients. So, with relatively limited opportunities to meet with actual clients, how can newer advisors practice and improve their meeting skills?
How To Practice Client Meeting Skills
Fortunately, there are ways for newer advisors to learn and practice client meeting skills outside of actual client meetings. The following three methods can be helpful for advisors in a variety of situations:
- Mock client meetings to simulate the client meeting experience without clients actually present;
- Prepackaged virtual training in which advisors observe and analyze real client meeting scenarios; and
- Comprehensive training programs that systematize the entire financial planning process (including client meetings) and provide intensive training on implementing each component of the process.
Mock Client Meetings
One way for newer advisors to learn client meeting skills outside of actual client meetings is to hold a series of mock client meetings with one or more peers. These meetings can simulate the live meeting experience without the pressure of real clients. They can be held in numerous ways and can be adapted to fit the unique client meeting styles that different firms employ. But in general, mock meetings involve the advisor presenting real client information and materials (anonymized if necessary) to one or more other people (preferably other advisors) standing in as the client, and who can ideally give feedback to the presenter afterward.
The benefits of this approach for the presenter are twofold: First, mock meetings allow the advisor to practice preparing for and managing a meeting in real-time; and second, the ensuing feedback can help them identify specific areas that can be improved (and prevent them from repeating mistakes that they might otherwise be unaware of). In this way, mock meetings are a form of “deliberate practice” that can improve the meeting skills of newer and more experienced advisors alike by focusing on improving performance in the areas that need it the most.
Firms with multiple advisors in support roles can help advisors practice mock meetings by dedicating one hour every week for a different advisor to fill the role of presenter, rotating between advisors from week to week, and assigning the remaining advisors to stand in as the clients. But the concept could also be employed in study groups or by teachers of financial planning educational programs to adapt to different circumstances. Whatever method, the key point is to make the mock meetings a form of structured and methodical practice to master the skills of client meetings and communication.
Feedback can be an invaluable component of mock client meetings because it gives the advisor an outsider’s perspective on their strengths and weaknesses and helps them understand which areas need the most improvement. For this reason, though anyone can theoretically stand in for the client, it’s best if the other participants are other advisors – either other newer advisors, more experienced advisors, or (ideally) a combination of the two. Both groups have the advantage of being familiar with the materials being presented and the actual questions clients would ask. And both groups can offer feedback from uniquely valuable points of view.
For example, while more experienced advisors may know what techniques work well for certain clients and may have a wealth of anecdotal advice, newer advisors may be more cognizant of common concerns shared by those with less meeting experience. Non-presenting advisors standing in for the client can also benefit from the opportunity to contemplate their own skills as they analyze the performance of the presenting advisor. Accordingly, mock meetings can be especially valuable in settings with groups of newer advisors (e.g., financial planning classes, study groups, or firms with support advisors with varying levels of experience).
However, while mock meetings may be useful to practice the client meeting skills that tend to remain consistent no matter who the client is (e.g., skills involving preparation and meeting management), some of the more nuanced communication and relationship-building skills require engaging with clients on a deeper level, and are therefore harder to simulate in a mock meeting. And for some advisors – those who run solo advisory practices, for example, or students who are not yet working at an advisory firm – it may not be possible to find other peers to hold mock meetings with.
Fortunately, the need for newer advisors to build confidence when communicating with clients and to develop repeatable processes for holding meetings can be met by prepackaged training programs, which can serve as another resource for advisors to improve their meeting skills.
Prepackaged Virtual Training Programs
In recent years, advisors have been able to practice their client meeting skills through prepackaged virtual training courses available on-demand. For example, Amplified Planning CORE is a training program available for a $30 monthly subscription fee, created by Hannah Moore, CFP, who teaches practical skills to newer advisers (Hannah also helped create the FPA Externship and hosts the You’re A Financial Planner… Now What? podcast).
The premise of the CORE program is that real-world client meetings are often more complex than how they are portrayed in financial planning textbooks and classroom curricula, and that advisors equipped with the skills to handle those situations will be able to give meaningful advice to their clients more confidently.
The ‘core’ of the CORE program consists of meetings that Hannah holds and records with actual financial planning clients. She reviews and analyzes these meetings in a play-by-play style. In these monthly training videos, the viewer gets a fly-on-the-wall perspective of the meetings, with clips of Hannah breaking down key moments as they happen and giving candid assessments of her own decisions and interactions with her clients. Not only do viewers watch the meeting itself unfold, but they also hear Hannah talk about parts of the meeting that went well (or not so well), and how parts of the meeting could have been handled differently.
In addition to the training videos, the CORE program also includes opportunities and assignments to practice taking notes and writing follow-up emails. Participants are also required to use their technical skills to review client information (e.g., pay stubs) and research issues for follow-up. In touching upon a diverse range of common meeting experiences, the program helps newer advisors think about how to handle many situations they are likely to encounter in their careers (e.g., helping clients decide what to do with a financial windfall after exercising employee stock options).
Because they are mostly centered around watching other advisors hold meetings and provide no opportunities for the advisor to present themselves, virtual training programs are best used in addition to mock meetings when possible – rather than as a substitute – as a starting point for newer advisors to experience the kinds of issues that real-life client meetings present.
Comprehensive Training On The Entire Financial Planning Process
For advisors who want to go beyond the basic skills of holding a client meeting and who want to learn an entire system of financial planning and client communication, there are a number of holistic planning programs that cover the entire planning process. Training and resources include meeting templates and client deliverables, and the best of these programs also provide experiential training – either in person or virtually – to simulate the meeting experience, helping the advisor internalize the concepts and processes so they can succeed on their own.
Three programs that exemplify this approach are The Alliance of Comprehensive Planners’ ACP Success Program, Money Quotient’s True Wealth Process, and the Kinder Institute’s EVOKE Life Planning Training Course. Each of these programs aims to systematize the financial planning process in some way to make it consistent and repeatable, though each emphasizes a slightly different approach.
For example, ACP promotes tax-focused advice on a retainer fee model, Money Quotient tailors its process to engage and motivate clients by increasing their self-awareness, and the Kinder Institute focuses on discovering and exploring a client’s most essential life goals before formulating a financial plan.
The methods of learning and practicing client meeting skills via comprehensive training programs are unique, as they are designed to teach an entire system of financial planning rather than focus on specific meeting skills. And because of their systematic approach, these programs often use meeting templates or even word-for-word scripts to guide advisors through conversations and meetings with clients. The training sessions then focus on reinforcing and internalizing the holistic planning process and use practice methods like role-playing and mock meetings; however, the meetings themselves are only one part of the process.
For example, the Kinder Institute EVOKE training teaches the Life Planning method in its live course by pairing advisors together and having them spend the five-day session by practicing the life planning process with each other. The experiential training allows advisors to practice life planning and experience the meeting process as both an advisor and a client. Beyond giving advisors the opportunity to practice their meeting skills, the overarching goal of the Kinder Institute program is to reinforce its life-planning philosophy and to help advisors integrate it into their practice, where client meetings play only one part of a bigger picture.
Comprehensive programs often provide training in addition to in-person instruction. For example, ACP’s program includes opportunities for mentorship and observation where new advisors visit an established ACP member for a few days to see how the ACP program works in practice, while Money Quotient incorporates study groups, coaching sessions, and one-on-one consultation into its program. The EVOKE program is unique among these options in that it is a standalone five-day course rather than an ongoing membership model (though advisors interested in more continuous training in the Kinder Institute's life-planning process can attend further Kinder Institute training programs to qualify for the Registered Life Planner (RLP) designation, which itself offers ongoing training and continuing education opportunities).
By exploring the underlying philosophies of these systems (and the planning methods that they employ), advisors can decide whether any of these programs resonate with their interests and goals. This is important to do before committing to a comprehensive training program, as these programs tend to require a significant investment of time and resources relative to mock client meetings or virtual training programs. Additionally, advisors should consider what changes, if any, would be involved in implementing an entirely new system of financial planning for their advisory practice.
The table below outlines some of the main features of each program.
Advisors who are interested in learning a holistic system of engaging, serving, and communicating with clients may find these comprehensive programs to be well worth the initial investment. For advisors starting their own practices, they can be an attractive alternative to creating all of the practice’s processes, systems, and deliverables from scratch. Furthermore, the personalized training and professional coaching that each provides can be particularly valuable for newer advisors who have limited or no experience with client meetings.
But not all advisors may find that a comprehensive training program is suitable for their needs. Those who are employees at established firms, for example, would likely not be able to implement a whole new financial planning system. Likewise, newer advisors who are trying to be hired at an established firm, rather than starting their own, may not find a comprehensive training program to be worth the investment, given the unlikelihood of being hired by a firm that practices that particular system (unless they are specifically trying to be hired by a firm that practices that system, in which case the investment may be well worth it!).
Ultimately, choosing how to practice client meeting skills comes down to what advisors want to get out of the method they pursue:
- Mock meetings provide the most hands-on experience but don’t involve real clients. Accordingly, they may not give advisors opportunities to hone their softer communication skills of building trust and creating meaningful relationships with clients;
- Prepackaged virtual training programs (e.g., Amplified Planning CORE) demonstrate actual client situations but don’t provide advisors with opportunities to hold their own meetings; and
- Comprehensive training programs (e.g., ACP Success, True Wealth Money Quotient, and Kinder Institute EVOKE) show advisors how to implement a systematized, holistic financial planning process based on a specific underlying philosophy but may involve an extensive overhaul of an advisor’s existing service model to align with the new program’s philosophy.
Other considerations may factor into choosing how to work on one’s client meeting skills, such as whether the advisor’s employer is willing to invest in training or if there are other advisors available to support each other and hold mock meetings.
No matter the method, however, learning and practicing client meeting skills is an important way for advisors to deepen their expertise beyond the technical elements of financial planning. Because ultimately, clients value advisors who not only have the relevant technical knowledge of financial planning but who can also communicate clearly and help the client reach their specific goals—and the client meeting is often the venue where those different abilities intersect.
By mastering the meeting skills that create an environment of trust and open communication, advisors can empower themselves to truly understand (and be understood by) their clients, and to deliver advice that really sticks!