How to Give Your Clients Peace of Mind
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Every advisor will agree with the goal of giving their clients peace of mind. But there’s mounting evidence few actually do.
Why is that?
It’s easy to understand why the gift of peace of mind is so valued, but what does it mean?
Peace of mind has been described as “inner calm” or “an internal state of tranquility.”
When you have peace of mind, you feel good about yourself. You’re not overwhelmed by day-to-day concerns. You’re well prepared for whatever life throws at you.
If you contribute to your clients’ peace of mind, they will have very positive feelings about you.
According to a survey by AARP, 45% of U.S. adults aged 40-59 would prefer to visit a dentist than make an appointment with a financial advisor.
That’s a chilling observation.
Our fear of going to the dentist is caused by many psychological factors, including fear of pain, anxiety about needles, concerns about gagging and vomiting and even a concern with being touched by someone not close to us.
However, an underlying cause of dentist anxiety for many is the loss of control. When we are in the dental chair, we cannot anticipate what will occur. Often, we can’t even talk. It’s a very uncomfortable, anxiety producing feeling.
Akin to being in your office!
How you create anxiety
You don’t intend to create anxiety in prospects or clients, but you often do. Here are some examples:
You set the agenda
When you set the agenda for a meeting, you deprive the other person of control. They have their own agenda. Find out what it is.
You dominate the conversation
I give my clients this advice: When you’re talking, you’re losing.
Instead of talking, focus on listening. Instead of conveying information, elicit it. Instead of being the smartest person in the room, strive to be the most interested and most curious one.
You try to persuade
We are very sensitive to being “sold.” You may think your pitch is subtle, but once you try to persuade someone to take action that benefits you, the possibility of converting that prospect into a client declines.
You venture into areas where your advice is unwanted
Advisors often believe they know what’s best for their clients. One example is estate planning.
But this (and other subjects) may be an area where, for whatever reason, clients don’t want you to be involved. If you press on, clueless as to their feelings, you will create anxiety.
Here’s an alternative: Ask them.
Pose these questions: What would you like me to focus on? Are there any areas of financial advice you would like me to avoid?
You’ll be surprised what you’ll learn when you ditch your assumptions.
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You impose your processes
One size doesn’t fit every client.
Not all of your clients want to meet with you on a regular basis (or at all).
Some (like engineers) may want a detailed, multi-page report. Others just want to know whether they will be all right.
Ask what reports the client believes would be ideal.
When one advisor did this, the client said: It would be so great for me if you could fit everything I need to know in simple language on one page. The advisor created a special report to accommodate this request.
Your goal in your interactions with prospects and clients is to transfer control of the meeting from you to them.
If you achieve that, you’re well on your way to giving them more peace of mind.
Dan trains executives and employees in the lessons based on the research on his latest book, Ask: How to Relate to Anyone. His online course, Ask: Increase Your Sales. Deepen Your Relationships, is currently available.