The Slippery Slope from Empathy to Role Reversal, and How to Avoid It

The Slippery Slope from Empathy to Role Reversal, and How to Avoid It

Successful financial advisors know that expressing empathy is critical in helping them to connect with clients and solidify their relationships. Clients need to know you understand their circumstances and what they may be going through at any given time. However, empathy taken too far can backfire when advisors find themselves sharing the same emotional distress as their clients, which can threaten their objectivity and compromise sound planning advice.

At the extreme, this can lead to advisors relinquishing control of the relationship to their clients and acquiescing to their desire “to fix the problem” in the short-term at the expense of their long-term plan. This type of role reversal is not uncommon for advisors who become emotionally vested in their clients, wanting to do what they can to ease their pain. Suddenly, the relationship is no longer being guided by rational, objective advice; but rather the behavioral impulses advisors are supposed to prevent, such as selling into a steep market decline, or abandoning the long-term strategy just to alleviate the immediate suffering.

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To Get to “Yes” Financial Advisors Must First Get to “Why” and Stir Up Emotions

To Get to Yes Financial Advisors Must First Get to Why and Stir Up Emotions

What if, in every initial client meeting, your prospects would just come right out and tell you what’s important to them and what it would mean to them if you could help them? Indeed, it would make your job much easier, but then anyone could do it. The challenge is most people don’t think that way, and it’s your job as a financial advisor to help them uncover their most important issues.

But even that doesn’t go far enough because all you’ve done is uncover the “what.” People don’t act on the “what.” They act on the “why.” When fully revealed, the “why” becomes the key motivating factor. It contains the emotions that drive people to act. Your value as a financial advisor is to get people to take the actions you know will help them. If you can’t trigger the emotions behind what’s important to them, they are not likely to take action.

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How Financial Advisors Should Manage Emotional Clients

How Financial Advisors Should Manage Emotional Clients

People aren’t rational. We’re all creatures of emotion. Good salespeople bear that in mind. Whatever your training and education, as financial advisors, we’re not engineers. We’re not technicians. Not in the sales interview.

We deal with people first.

Not numbers. Not machines.

Advisors who understand this are going to do better than advisors who don’t.

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How to Articulate Your Value to Prospects and Clients

How to Articulate Your Value to Prospects and Clients

Ours is a highly commoditized industry. Financial advisors all tend to look the same, sell the same products and talk the same language. To get noticed you need to differentiate yourself from the competition by establishing your value to prospects and clients.

First, work out what you can bring to the table that others can’t. The next step is to verbalize your unique value proposition to clients and prospects.

If you do, prospects and clients will realize why it makes perfect sense to work with you.

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5 Top Priorities for Advisors Who Want to Build a Healthy Practice

5 Top Priorities for Advisors Who Want to Build a Healthy Practice

If you want to build a healthy practice, there are several things you must prioritize, including the following.

#1. Prospecting
To run a healthy business, you need a pipeline full of good leads. Referrals will probably not be enough to grow your business – and networking, whilst productive, won’t guarantee that you’ll meet the right people. So, prospecting (i.e. actively recruiting or seeking out new clients) must become your priority.

Prospecting may be the least favorite part of your job. If this is the case, work on developing your soft skills so you become more comfortable with this task.

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You Need both Hard and Soft Skills to Succeed as a Financial Advisor

You Need both Hard and Soft Skills to Succeed as a Financial Advisor

You can’t offer financial advice until you have the necessary training and education under your belt. Learning the technical side is fundamental to your career, so that you can recommend appropriate products as well as adhere to the increasingly strict industry regulations.

But hard skills alone won’t secure you success. Even if you’re highly competent with technical information and product knowledge, unless you also possess the right soft skills, you won’t get your message across. Without excellent communication and interpersonal skills, you won’t get past the first post. That’s because prospects won’t understand what you’re saying or see why they should do business with you.

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How to Connect with Clients Emotionally

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.

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