The Greek philosopher Epictetus said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Can financial advisors learn from this bit of wisdom? As a financial advisor, the key to success is getting to know your client. Clients’ needs vary based on:
- Financial goals
- Life goals
- Spending habits
- Levels of comfort with financial advisors
- Levels of risk tolerance
What can you do as a financial advisor to ensure you have the information you need to provide tailored financial planning?
Ask. Listen. Repeat.
Here are some helpful suggestions from a Financial Planning article by John J. Bowen Jr. Spend less time upfront rattling off your qualifications and superior investing skills, and instead take the time to ask your client questions that will help you ascertain key pieces of information that will become invaluable as you build a plan for your client. Moreover, this practice should not be a one-time occurrence. Bowen also recommends checking in with your clients during every regular progress meeting to find out if there have been any major life changes you should factor into your investment and financial plans. Financial planners who not only show interest in their clients’ needs and goals, but also use that information to formulate strategically sound and relevant financial plans, are likely to increase client satisfaction and retention. It’s a win-win for both parties.
Listening is one of the best gifts you can give your clients. It will help you build the type of relationship and portfolio that other financial planners will envy. However, if you really want to make your fellow financial planners jealous, be the first to sign up for a live demo of Behavior Based Client Insight for Wealth Management, a solution that generates advanced customer segmentation based on behavioral data and predicts life events. With this solution, financial advisors can uncover deep customer insights and provide personalized advice and tailored portfolio recommendations to their clients. You can then share this with other financial advisors and send them the link to register for the live demonstration.