Engaging in Meaningful Client Conversations

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Engaging in Meaningful Client Conversations

Looking for Ways to Forge Deep Relationships With Both Your Clients and Prospects?
Making every effort to engage in conversations that are truly meaningful is the gateway to getting results.

You have the power to make your client and prospect interactions much more meaningful and engaging. You just have to take action.

Be sure to visit the Practice Management section to learn about more ways of growing your advisory practice.

Enjoy Your Conversations

Simply put, don’t look at your client interactions as just another conversation to get through. Make them meaningful and strive to enjoy them. If you are enjoying them, chances are your clients are enjoying them too and they will actually look forward to their meetings with you.

Always keep in mind your clients and prospects have very valuable information to share with you. Treat your conversations in such a way to uncover these priceless gems. You never know what you will uncover.

Remember, strong communication is essential for meaningful client relationships.
Be aware and be present in your conversations.

The key is to make your conversations natural. Incorporate powerful and meaningful questions naturally as the conversation progresses.

Ask Powerful Questions

Not sure where to start? Ask your clients and prospects powerful questions. Engage in meaningful talk. Cut the meaningless chit-chat out of your meetings and uncover who your clients are. Avoid the ho-hum questions about risk tolerance and other canned questions that the majority of financial advisors ask.

Stand out from your competition. Find out how your clients think and feel about important subjects, what truly drives them as people and, ultimately, what motivates them to invest with you? What is really most important to them? What do they want their money to do for them?

Try using powerful questions like the ones below. Add in the powerful questions you already use. Also, add new ones to the list as you come up with them.

  • Who taught you the most about money and why?
  • Imagine you are 65-years-old. It is a Wednesday morning at 10 am. Describe what you will be doing.
  • What three things do you want to be remembered for with your family and friends?
  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
  • What does the word legacy mean to you?
  • What philanthropy is most important to you and why?
  • What is your fondest childhood memory?
  • If you could change careers, what would you do?
  • What is your proudest moment?
  • What mistakes have you made in your professional life that you want others to learn from?

Powerful questions like these will provide you with a treasure trove of information about your clients and prospects. Chances are they haven’t been asked questions like these by a financial advisor before and they will appreciate your desire to understand them in a deep way.

Engage in Active Listening

After you ask any of these powerful questions, take the time to truly listen. Engage in active listening. Repeat back to them in your own words what you heard them express. Focus on the details your clients are telling you. Clarify that you have heard them correctly. Take notes if you need to.

Take the time to be curious and truly think about the client(s) you are talking with. Often in our conversations, we just scratch the surface. Don’t be afraid to go deeper. Uncover your clients’ emotional needs and wants. After all, money can be a very emotional topic.

Don’t focus on what your follow-up comment or question will be. It is best to not anticipate what will be said next. Avoid methodical or calculated conversations. Clients can sense these.

While agendas are important to accomplish your clients’ goals, don’t focus on outcomes in your conversations. Your conversations should focus on listening in order to fully understand your clients. The more you focus on understanding, the more you can collaborate with your clients and come up with the appropriate solutions to their unique problems and needs.

Emphasize adding value to your clients’ lives. Ask them directly how you can add value, don’t just assume you know. You may be surprised at how they respond.

Always remember to follow up. Don’t derail the result of a meaningful conversation by falling short on follow up. Do what you say you are going to do and follow up in a timely manner.

Power of the Pause

Have you ever noticed that there is power in silence? Use the power of the pause while you are engaging in meaningful conversations.

Allow your clients time to think about their responses to your questions. Take the time to think about what you are going to say before you say it. Pause before you respond to show understanding of what you just heard.

Frequently in our conversations, we get nervous and think we have to keep talking to avoid silence and fill time, as well as space. This is unnecessary. Recognize how pausing can make an impact on your conversations.

Reach out in Meaningful Ways

Not only can you focus on having meaningful conversations with clients, but you can strive to reach out to your clients in meaningful ways.

When your clients celebrate a momentous milestone, call them personally or send a handwritten note. Make a conscious effort to pick up the phone.

Show your excitement when a client has had a child graduate, when a client has retired or a client has had their first grandchild. These are meaningful events and deserve meaningful conversations.

On the flipside, reaching out in meaningful ways is also important during life events that are unfortunate. When a client loses a job, has a death in the family or goes through a divorce, meaningful conversations and personal notes are just as important.

The Bottom Line

What you can learn from your clients is endless if you take the time to make your interactions more meaningful. You just might uncover a goldmine.

Meaningful conversations deepen your relationships in profound ways and help avoid the trap of purely transactional advisor-client relationships.

Don’t forget to visit the News section to stay up to date with the latest news from the mutual fund investing world.

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