Welcome to key #1 in the 6 keys to high performance financial services email series! Having More Meaningful Conversations
For a long time now I’ve realised the importance of having meaningful conversations with clients. When you connect with customers on an emotional level you go far beyond what typically happens in a normal sales conversation. For this reason client conversations need to be meaningful not methodical. Yet time and time again I witness methodical conversations happening that only touch on the surface of client’s true emotional needs.
Now it’s important to note that I’m not saying you shouldn’t plan or structure your meetings – far from it, but I am saying it’s important to make each client touchpoint unique and meaningful to build trust and truly understand the goals, dreams and wishes of your clients. The great flow on effect from this is of course increased sales.
But how do you have more meaningful conversations with clients? For the last seven years I have been helping financial planners, bankers and brokers have these conversations with their clients and here are the four top tips I share.
1. Be authentic
While the meeting should be structured with an agenda, it’s also important that you don’t force the conversation, be too focused on the sales, or in any way be fake or over the top, clients will pick up on this and be wary of it.
The goal of your client meetings should be to establish trust and credibility, not destroy it. Be yourself, create a safe environment for sharing and show a genuine interest and desire to help and understand their goals. From this more meaningful conversations will happen naturally.
2. Stay focused on listening
When you’re with a client, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking about the next question you have to ask instead of listening to the answer they are providing.
Active listening will help you gain a greater understanding of your client and pick up on clues around what is not being said. Some client’s struggle to truly articulate what they want, need and why this is important to them.
3. Ask GREAT questions that show you’re engaged
The more great questions you can ask a client, the more you truly understand what is important to your client, plus it shows you care. Show genuine curiosity in what your client is telling you by asking more specific questions before moving on to the next topic.
Keep in mind that you want to engage clients in conversation, not just get answers to your questions. I use the rule of three to get down to the deeper more emotional needs of clients.
4. Ask how you can add value
Don’t just guess how you will be able to best help your client, ask them. While you will have your professional opinion on how best to help them achieve their goals, they may want something more from you, or have a different idea of how you can best help them.
Remember we are there to help our clients achieve their goals, dreams and lifelong hopes – I think this is the best thing about what we do as an industry.
Stay tuned for Key #2 that will arrive in your inbox next week – creating consistent client experiences.
In the meantime, what steps can you take this week to have more meaningful conversations?
If you or your business is looking for help with developing soft skills please contact us at Performance Advisory Group.
Have a great week!