How to Connect with Clients Emotionally
As financial advisors we’re objective thinkers. We use the left, logical, side of our brains, to work out the technical aspects of financial planning. But simply being able to do the math won’t differentiate you from the competition – even robo-advisors are pretty good with interest rates and algorithms. The way to stand out is to make an emotional connection with people.
Your clients won’t make big decisions based on the numbers. They will base them on how they feel about you, using the right (emotional) part of the brain. To form a connection with clients you need to work out what it is you have to offer them on an emotional level.
Here are three suggestions to help you connect with clients emotionally.
Connect with clients by being authentic
Yes, your clients need you to hold all the right qualifications – but more importantly they are looking at you as a person. You need to come across as authentic.
In your first meeting demonstrate to prospects that you are competent, empathetic and warm. Show them you are more interested in them as people than in their assets. Prospects will sense right away any insincerity so bring out your passion and commitment. Ask yourself why do you love helping people? Then tell this to your prospects in a story.
Stories have a powerful impact on how humans feel and think. They are emotional and memorable and (big plus) they’re easy to understand. Use your personal experiences to help you establish trust and give prospects an insight into the ‘real’ you. Tell a ‘who I am’ story or ‘what I do’ story or ‘how I helped others story’.
You may find it difficult to identify your inner story at first – but believe it – everyone has a story to tell. If you can’t find your inner story right away, try asking your family and friends for their objective opinion.
Make prospects feel rather than process what you’re saying
What we find easy to understand clients find difficult, so make things simple for them. When you’re talking to clients, use metaphors, emotional examples and personal passion. Make them feel rather than simply process what you’re saying. Don’t stick just with the facts but help prospects feel they are making the right decision.
Appeal the amygdala, a part of the limbic system that cares about security and safety, by creating positive impressions around what financial security will do for them. Then create negative impressions around what may happen should they delay investing.
Get fully on board with your clients’ goals
The most important task in establishing an emotional connection with clients is for you to fully understand what it is they want to achieve. Start your meeting with a wide-ranging discussion about their values, family, hobbies and life philosophy – ask open-ended questions.
Ask why money is important to them. Is it because they want to travel, or buy a second home? Where and at what age do they want to retire? If they’re pre-retirees, ask them how they’re going to feel about spending their time 24/7 with their spouse.
Asking these sorts of questions could be startling to clients. They may never have really thought about these kinds of things – but getting them to think, really think, about their future is a good way to establish a connection.
Help clients formulate their goals by encouraging them to envision in detail the type of future they want. If they want to retire to a condo in Florida, then get them to imagine themselves sitting on the lanai in the sunshine. If they want to travel the world, ask them where they want to go. Aim to get them to put as much color, detail and emotion into their vision as possible. Once you’ve established their desires restate them as goals.
Up to 95% of human behavior happens at an unconscious level. We make ‘gut’ decisions about the most important things in our lives. What prospects want is to see a genuine emotional connection between themselves and you. So, sit down and have a cup of coffee with them. Listen to their stories and be genuinely interested in them. Then give them an insight into your personality. If you can establish an emotional connection at that first meeting, then you’re all set for what could be a long-term relationship.
Watch this one-minute video to learn how Don Connelly 24/7 can help you develop and improve your relationship building and management skills.
We recommend PLATINUM membership for its best value for money – see membership benefits.