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If there’s one thing that financial advisors unanimously agree on, it’s this:
Building trust and connection with the person you’re meeting with is a crucial skill in both growing your business, client outcomes and client satisfaction.
There is story after story and study after study to confirm.
But, given that most human communication occurs non-verbally, learning to do these things through a computer screen is hard. It’s a lot like learning a new language.
This is typically the place of the article where I should put a verified stat of the increase in virtual meetings throughout the industry over the last year.
But, I don’t think we need a study to confirm what we already know: there were a record number of virtual meetings conducted between advisors and clients last year (obviously a consequence of the Covid pandemic).
And, while that number will likely decrease in a post-pandemic world, virtual meetings are likely here to stay.
The number one concern among advisors remains the same as it was last March when everyone was forced into virtual meetings:
Is it even possible to match the same level of connection and have the same level of effectiveness when looking at someone’s face on the screen as you can have when they’re sitting and breathing across the table from you?
Fortunately, with a full year under our belts and some thorough research from adjacent fields, we’ve learned that (when done right) virtual meetings can be equally, if not more, effective than meeting in person.
The key words in that sentence being “when done right.” Because, at the end of the day, when you’re dealing with an emotional person on an emotionally-charged topic like money, your ability to connect with them, to communicate effectively, and to change their behavior is of utmost importance to achieving their goals.
Much has been written and discussed on improving the virtual experience by teaching you to become a studio designer (place your camera at a certain angle, make sure the light is in front of you, think about your background, etc.). That’s all important.
But, it’s more important to learn the new language of connecting virtually. To understand the psychology and communication principles that foster the same level of connection you have in person that ultimately allows you to deliver better outcomes for your clients.
Things You’ll Learn
- Sarah’s personal story where her technical knowledge was insufficient in making the optimal decison
- The challenges that exist virtually that we don’t have to deal with in person
- Benefits of a virtual meetings that make them more effective than in-person meetings
- The #1 thing Sarah says is the key to effective virtual meetings (it’s one you’ll never guess)
- Why an advisor’s approach/mindset is at the core of an effective virtual meeting
- The new language of trust-building in virtual meetings and how to build trust virtually
- Why you should allow for even more silence than you do in-person
- Tips for ensuring you’re making solid, consistent eye contact
- How the environment (both physical and psychological) impact the effectiveness of virtual meetings
About Dr. Sarah Asebedo
Dr. Sarah Asebedo is an assistant professor and the Director of the Life-Centered Financial Planning Graduate Certificate at Texas Tech. She’s was named to Investment News’s Top 40 Under 40 and is a multi-award winning researcher in the world of financial planning. Her specialty is researching evidence-based methods that equip financial advisors to excel in client relationships. In other words, she’s the ideal guest for The Human Side of Money!
Other Episodes You’ll Like
- Episode 10: Improving Client Behavior By Bridging The Gap Between Your Current and Future Self with Meghaan Lurtz
- Episode 20: The Future of Financial Planning is LIfe Planning w/ George Kinder
- Episode 16: Changing Behavior By Focusing On Communication And Connection with Joy Lere
- Dr. Sarah Asebedo LinkedIn
- Facilitating Virtual Client Meetings for Money Conversations: A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Skills and Strategies for Financial Planners (Journal of Financial Planning)
- Life-Centered Financial Planning Certificate
- How Virtual Financial Planning Meetings Can Actually Enhance Client Intimacy (Nerd’s Eye View – Meghaan Lurtz)
- Optimal Design of a Financial Advisor’s Office by Dr. John Grable
- Facilitating Financial Health: Tools for Financial Planners, Therapists and Coaches by Brad Klontz, Ted Klontz, and Rick Kahler
- Albert Bandura
- Martin Seligman
- Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being by Martin Seligman
- Barbara Fredrickson