How to Increase your Clients’ Return on Life

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Our clients should be important to us as individuals – not as statistics or as part of a predetermined demographic group. We should be genuinely interested in who they are, where they came from, where they hope to go, and what's most meaningful to them. When we talk with clients, we must go beyond the standard superficial due-diligence questions.

Everyone has a story, and a client’s story is molded from his or her experiences. It’s our clients’ unique personal histories that build their philosophies about family and money. Their experiences shape their value systems, and their value systems ultimately drive their decisions.

The better we understand clients and what’s important to them on a deep level, the better we can help them navigate through the ups and downs they’ll experience throughout their lives. We need to listen on a deep level to gain the insight we need to deliver the highest level of personalized guidance and service possible.

It's important to balance ROI – return on investment – with ROL – return on life. Mitch Anthony, founder of the Life Planning Institute, first introduced the concept of return on life in 2005 as a new and enlightened measure of success in wealth management. “As advisors, we are conditioned to make sure our clients have enough money,” said Anthony, “but we really should be asking if they’re getting the best life possible with the money they have.”