Life-Centered Financial Planning Essentials: The Difference Between What Client’s Want and What They Expect

There’s a big difference between what clients want, and what they expect.
Let me explain.
Clients expect their advisor to be trustworthy and well-qualified, but what they want is peace of mind, financial security, and financial independence. To help clients achieve this, advisors need to wear three hats:

The Third Hat: Financial Advisor
Believe it or not, this is your least important hat. To clients, financial advice is anything to do with discussing, arranging, implementing, changing, or advising on any form of financial product or investment. Financial advising happens once financial planning is completed.
The Second Hat: Financial Planner
The financial planner’s job is to understand the numbers: identifying clients’ current net worth and the assets they have; determining their liquid and non-liquid assets. Financial planning is about expenditures, and is an ongoing service. In a way, you become your clients’ GPS by keeping them headed in the right direction throughout life.
The First Hat: Life Planner
The most consequential hat you wear is that of a life planner. The life planner’s job is to find out where clients are right now in their lives, and how they got there—what’s their story? When you understand their past and present, you can help them identify where they want to be in the future—what do they want their future story to be? Specifically, it’s about identifying the sort of lifestyle they have now and the sort of lifestyle they want to enjoy going forward. Money is important to that discussion, but it’s just one part of it.
When you can explain to clients in the first appointment that the meeting is all about them––that until you know about them, you have no right to talk about their money or tell them what to do with it, you will differentiate yourself. Clients will feel confident that you are more interested in them than you are in their money.
This approach is how you get clients to understand your real value.
Learn more in Life Centered Financial Planning: How to Deliver Value that Will Never be Undervalued, available at local or online bookstores as well as at