Life-Centered Financial Planning Essentials: What Really Smart Financial Advisors Do

Having a fruitful conversation involves merging meaning with the person you are speaking with. It does not mean that you should monopolize the conversation by doing all the talking, essentially engaging in a monologue instead of a dialogue. Instead, the act of dialogue is focused on inquiring to the point of understanding and bringing that understanding to the level of being able to explain your client’s point of view, as well as the reason your client arrived at that perspective. In other words, you’re now walking in their shoes.

The way some financial professionals comport themselves in an introductory meeting, you would guess that their goal is to be interesting instead of being interested in the person in front of them. Competence in financial matters should be a baseline, but very few prospective clients are impressed by advisors who work too hard at being impressive.

The bottom line on really smart financial advisors is that they don’t feel the need to play the guru, the expert, the end-all to every conversation. They are comfortable drawing answers out of their dialogues with clients, extracting their stories and perspectives in the quest for insight and understanding. Life-centered financial advisors are in the proper posture and frame of mind to engage in true discovery.

Here are some ground rules to abide by if you hope to take dialogue to a deeper level:

  • Don’t dive deep out of the blue.
  • Establish context for what you’re going to be asking.
  • Anchor the story; link the story you hear to the service you’ll be delivering.

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