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Episode Summary

Asking great questions is a superpower.

Many fields and professions have known this for a long time (therapists, hostage negotiators, psychologists).

And, it’s no coincidence that success in these fields is directly linked to the ability to do two things:

  • Create an instant level of trust and rapport with a random person
  • Unearth valuable information and intimate details about this person’s life, thoughts and feelings

Hostage negotiators, therapists, and psychologists know the single most effective way to do those two things is the ability to ask great questions.

And Dr. Meghaan Lurtz is quick to point out that the power of asking questions isn’t a skill set that should be reserved solely for these fields and professions.

After all, for financial advisors and planners to do their job at the highest level requires the ability to do two things:

  1. Uncover someone’s personal, intimate financial details
  2. Unearth someone’s values, emotions, hopes, dreams and fears about their money and their life

Most people don’t talk about one of those things with any one else in their life.

And almost NO ONE talks about both with the same person without being under the influence of something!

So, much like hostage negotiators and therapists, the success of a financial advisor hinges on his or her ability to build an unparalleled level of trust and rapport with the prospect/client so they’re comfortable opening up and talking about the intimate details of their money and their life.

In fact, the best financial advisors and planners are masters at knowing how to ask the “right” questions that elicit trust and create rapport while uncovering the financial and personal information they need to formulate the best financial planning recommendations.

But what are the best questions to ask? When should you ask them? Is it possible to be too intrusive? And how do you keep it from sounding like an interrogation?

That’s why Dr. Meghaan Lurtz joined the show. She’s going to walk us through everything we need to know in order to unlock the superpower of asking questions.

In Part I, we walked through why questions are a superpower for building trust and connection, a question you should ask every prospect in an intro meeting, and a lot more.

In this episode, we dive into specific questions to ask, when to ask them, and some pitfalls to avoid when asking questions.

If you can master this skill, it will have a bigger impact on your clients and your practice than any investment ever could.

Things You’ll Learn

  • How to ask great questions that get great answers
  • Two types of questions designed to instill and build trust
  • Two types of questions designed to elicit information by getting the person to open up
  • Meghaan’s favorite question that she calls the “Swiss Army Knife”
  • The power of follow up questions (and what almost everybody gets wrong with follow up questions)
  • Specific questions to ask clients and prospects including when to ask them
  • The importance of “priming” your questions and effective ways to do it

About Meghaan Lurtz, Ph.D.

Meghaan is a Senior Research Associate at Kitces.com and the Nerd’s Eye View Blog, where she researches and writes about virtually everything that would fall under the realm of the human side of money. She has her Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning from Kansas State University, is involved with the financial planning programs for several colleges and universities across the country, and is the former president of the Financial Therapy Association.

And, of equal importance, she is one of the select few individuals in the world who can claim their work is featured more than once on our “Hall of Fame” page!

Other Episodes You’ll Like On Communication & Connection

Resources

Meghaan Lurtz LinkedIn

Meghaan Lurtz Twitter

“Growing Your Question Game: 21 Questions To Ask Clients And Prospects And How To Structure Them For Better Engagement” – Meghaan Lurtz

“The Power of Follow-Up Questions: How Advisors Can Build Rapport With Prospects and Clients” – Meghaan Lurtz

“The Empathic Future of Financial Advice” (Standard Deviations Podcast ft. Meghaan Lurtz)