Your relationship with your clients is as important as your financial advising of them. They view you as a trusted partner in their day-to-day lives as much as they see you as a keeper of economic knowledge. Rather, I should say, they’re supposed to view you as a trusted partner. In some cases this is too immediately assumed.
Think about it: How well do you know your clients’ actual relationship with their money? You may know all the incidentals: Their job, annual income, family tree, and all information on their living will, but what does this really tell you about how they’re going to interact with their money? Knowing what you know about their past or present performance isn’t necessarily enough to gauge their future actions throughout the course of their relationship with you as their Financial Advisor.
While these might sound like questions you’d ask your best friend or find on a dating website, when you think about it, the level of informational intimacy you share with your clients should be pretty close to that which you share with a close friend or a significant other. When it comes to having knowledge about your client, the best advisors are the most informed, and sometimes the seemingly unrelated questions, reveal the most about a person’s relationship with money.
What is your vision for your life completely unrelated to your money?
If you were to find out tomorrow that you were about to lose all your worldly possessions, apart from 3 things that you’d be able salvage, what would you choose to save?
What is your immediate association with the thought of money? What are some words that come to mind?
In order of importance, what are your top five financial objectives for the next five years?
How would you rank your focus with regard to the following values at this point in your life: career, family, health, education, and leisure?
Looking back on your life, what are problems that could have been more easily resolved or avoided based on your financial decisions?
What was your parents’ relationship with their finances like when you were growing up?
Now, understanding how your clients’ answers to these questions determine their behavior is somewhat daunting, especially if you have preconceived understanding about them based on your previous relationship. Working with a coach who is practiced in understanding these questions is a good start, but an even better solution is to learn these skills yourself!
ClientWise has a Certified Financial Services Coach Training Program specifically for this purpose, and it has has recently been designated by the International Coach Federation as Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH). This 60-hour course is the only one designed specifically to assist financial professionals in obtaining the vital skills needed to become an accredited coach.
Moreover, it combines the highest knowledge of coaching and of the financial services industry, and ample opportunity to practice financial services industry-specific issues related to communication skills, partnering skills and coaching. The benefits of this 6 month commitment are vast, and impact relationships not just with clients, but with internal team members, centers of influence, and staff. To learn more about Certified Financial Services Coach Training Program course, please visit: http://www.clientwise.com/coaching-skills-program.
Coaching Questions from this Article:
1. Think about the clients with whom you’re closest, do you know any of the above about them?
2. Considering what knowledge you currently have regarding your clients, how indicative is it their financial behaviors?
3. Going through each of your top ten clients, what are questions unique to each situation that you could use to learn even more about them?