Over time as the client-adviser relationship develops, this conversation will become more natural, however some basic communication principles should still be followed in order to ensure effective facilitation.
- Include both partners. The non-CFO partner can tend to be quiet or disengaged during financial conversations. It is the role of the adviser to bring them into the conversation. Advisers can also avoid them being influenced by the CFO partner by directing any questions to them first.
- Active listening. At the end of each module or conversation, the adviser summarises the discussion back to the clients, to ensure they are all aligned on what was said. At this stage, the associate can document this information in the Lumiant Workbench.
- Ask open questions. Try to uncover the ‘why’ underneath each answer. The clearer an adviser can be about the goals and values of a client, the better they’ll be able to create recommendations that truly align. Avoid one word responses wherever possible, by reframing the question to elicit a deeper answer.
- Dig deeper on questions. To gain deeper insights into client goals and values, don’t accept the first reply. This is a reflexive answer they give. Instead, probe deeper into the topic by asking the client why they gave that answer. Usually by the third or fourth time you’ve done this, you’ll get to the truth e.g. “You said financial independence was important for your marriage. How does that affect your relationship?”
- Ground aspirations in real examples. When clients talk about a particular aspiration or value they hold, encourage them to paint a picture of what that might look like in reality. By asking them to clearly articulate the vision instead of an abstract goal, advisers may uncover that their goals are in fact different to what they first thought. It also helps clients to imagine and quantify in more detail what it is they are trying to achieve.
- Allow space for emotions. Conversations about money almost always have an underlying emotional motivation. Concerns that are brought up through financial conversations are usually in fact concerns about other areas of life. On top of this, many individuals decide to seek advice following a large life event, which brings its own emotional weight. Advisers can offer support through these times, by allowing clients to talk through their emotions at their own pace.
- More ways of asking ‘why’
- Tell me more about that?
- What does that mean to you?
- How does that play out in relation to your…?
- What were you thinking about when you said that?
- Why is that important to you?
- What could improve that?
- Out of 16 cards you picked THAT one as being your most important. Why is that?
- How does that make you feel?
- Has something happened in your life that made you pick this?
- Let's talk some more about that…