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See if this situation sounds familiar:
A prospective client contacts you because they want to retire and need your help getting them there.
Through a series of meetings and conversations, you ask her about her situation and what she hopes to accomplish in the future.
She reveals that she’s tired of her job and wants to retire in 10 years.
You then start gathering all of the relevant and important financial information detailing her current financial situation.
You input the information, develop a detailed plan with your recommendations on how to get her to the retirement goal in 10 years that she seemingly so desperately wanted, and proudly walk her through your recommendations.
Six months later, you’re sending yet another email reminding her to start her 401(k) rollover process, or to start saving $___/month, or to contact her estate planning attorney, etc., etc.
Surely, when someone tells you exactly what they want and you tell them the exact steps to take in order to achieve it, they will naturally execute the plan. Right??
As most advisors have come to realize, the reality is that rarely happens.
If that doesn’t sound familiar, then just know it’s a VERY common issue. This study found that 70% of clients implement less than 20% of recommendations made by their financial planner.
And that’s because most advisors are trained in the WHAT and the HOW.
They excel at finding out WHAT clients want to accomplish and then use their technical expertise to show them HOW to make it happen.
But simply knowing what to do isn’t enough. (Don’t believe me? We all know how to lose weight, yet how many people do you know that would say they’re in ideal shape?)
Mounds of research exist on bridging this gap and changing people’s behavior, but most behavior change experts acknowledge that the single most powerful force is uncovering your WHY.
Instead of focusing on the client retiring in 1o years, focus on WHY they want to retire in 10 years. Now, you’re tapping into emotion which sparks action.
Instead of sending yet another follow up email reminding the client to take action, identify WHY they haven’t been able to move forward.
The skills and techniques required to do that effectively are generally untrained in the profession of financial advice.
Yet, it’s exactly what financial coaching focuses on. Financial coaching “works to narrow the gap between what people know and what they do. It illuminates – through thoughtful questioning – what gets in the way of life goals.”
Saundra Davis designed a program to help advisors around the world adopt and hone these skills to improve their communication, connection and follow-through with clients.
You don’t have to be a financial coach to develop these skills. And doing so will not only enhance client outcomes, it could forever change the trajectory of your business.
Things You’ll Learn
- The ways in which financial coaching differs from and complements financial planning
- The financial coaching skills she teaches advisors to help enhance their discovery process with clients
- The financial coaching techniques that create lasting financial behavior change
- How to effectively handle a conversation with a client that isn’t following through on the plan
- The most effective ways to identify the barriers standing between the client and follow-through
- How to listen and be curious without judgment
- Why the advisor’s “way of being” is the single most important component of effective communication
- A better way to ask questions that connect with clients and get them to open up
About Saundra Davis
Saundra Davis is a speaker, an educator, and the founder of Sage Financial Solutions, where she works as a financial coach and offers financial coach training. She was a founding member of the Financial Therapy Association and has a masters in Financial Planning.
She also developed the Financial Fitness Coach (FFC®) certification program where she trains financial professionals on the skills and techniques of being a financial coach.
Other Episodes You’ll Like On Navigating Change
- Episode 7: How To Explore Client’s Emotions, Beliefs, and Behaviors w/ Catherine Morgan
- Episode 16: Changing Behavior By Focusing On Communication And Connection w/ Joy Lere
- Episode 33: Values-Based Financial Advice That Works In Real Life w/ Natalie Taylor