How to Start Great Advice Conversations

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Great financial advice isn’t about the money – it’s about something much more meaningful.

Great advice is about taking clients to places they haven’t been.

Great advice is about helping clients manage their un-manageable things.

Unfortunately though, when it comes to financial advice, most Australians have become conformists. Unable to easily value, trust or assess most of the financial advice available, they conform to beliefs that financial advice is either for the rich, the lazy, or someone approaching retirement.

There is however an antidote to break this conformity.

It starts with a conversation.

Specifically a different conversation.

The different conversation needs to create a ‘discovery’ that changes a person’s beliefs such that they realise that conforming to today’s dogma about advice is actually a limiting belief for them in their circumstances.…

In Your First Five Minutes (PartV) – Don’t ask, just start recording

clock face stopwatchAccuracy is critically important when documenting and showing clients the progress they’re making towards removing complexity and increasing certainty in their financial lives.

Professional advice can save clients a lot of money in a short period of time through tax minimisation or avoiding a poor financial decision but most of the time, the value of advice is incremental and demonstrated over time.

It makes sense then to report a client’s cashflow or investment returns accurately not rounded up or down to the nearest 100,000.

However, being able to accurately illustrate to a client how well they’re tracking towards their goals and objectives, is dependent on how well you listened and captured the essence of what they said, verbally and non-verbally, in the discovery meetings six months, one year, five years or a decade ago.…

What do you do for me? – Those First Crucial Five Minutes…partIV

clock face stopwatchWhat’s your role?

What do you do?

How do you best describe your role when positioning what you do with clients,  potential new prospects, or alliance partners?

I’m especially interested to understand what you say in those first vital minutes of a meeting when you are still ‘setting the scene’ for discussions.

Hang on, am I making an assumption here?

Do you state (or re-state) your role in your meetings?

No you don’t? Why not?

Maybe you don’t need to explain your role, because it’s obvious. For new clients, they understand what an accountant (or planner, or adviser, or banker – you fill in your own role) does, and for existing clients there isn’t a need for re-explanation because they already know what we do for them?…

Is there something burning? – Part 3 of those First Crucial Five Minutes

clock face stopwatchThere’s something about a burning smell that’s hard to ignore.

Instinctively, that smell distracts us until we can locate the cause or origin.

Which is why it’s SO important to address anything that might be ‘burning’ in the financial lives of our clients as soon as possible in those first crucial five minutes of every client engagement conversations.

If a client has a sense that something is ‘burning’ in their financial lives and you don’t acknowledge, understand or address that issue, chances are they’ll be distracted by their ‘issue’ until they can investigate it further.

So always explore for the burning issue.…

Those Crucial First Five Minutes – Don’t Assume…

clock face stopwatchIn Part 1 of this series about the first five minutes of client meetings, I discussed the importance of “setting the context of the meeting” to effectively take control  of important client engagement and progress meetings.

The focus of Part 2 and second crucial component of those first vital five minutes of each meeting is about “not making assumptions”.

There’s a new financial planning firm nearby my office with a sign on their front window, saying something like “…come in and find out how we are different.”

If you want your financial advice to stand out and be different from others, you have to go a little further than the start made by my new neighbour.…

Engaging Advice Clients – The First Five Minutes – Part 1

clock face stopwatchWhat do you reckon?

Are those first five minutes of the advice conversation between adviser and client crucial?

Or is that the time for good old-fashioned rapport building?

In the past ‘advisers’ (or ‘product distributors’ or ‘salespeople’) focused those first five minutes in one of two places – either get the client to ‘like’ them, or differentiate the features of their products or services as primary means or the ‘hook’ to proceed to next step of engagement.

Will that work as well in the future?

I don’t believe so.

I reckon our future clients will be more discerning, future products will be more similar, new competition (& pricing) will be tougher,  and ‘old ways’ of establishing the potential advice relationship will just be harder.…

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