4 questions you must ask your clients

Aug 21, 2022

All of us have complex relationships with money and varied perceptions. Family history drives our individual relationships with money. But emotions and mental makeup also play an important role. This is why siblings, all brought up together, will think differently when it comes to risk and saving.

Advisers should never downplay the emotional element of money. It is experiences that shape a client’s perception, and the financial adviser will have to combat that to earn someone’s trust and confidence.

If you are an adviser, ask your potential client these questions.

You should even try it with existing clients who are difficult, who question you needlessly or never listen to what you say. Their answers will help you tackle the emotion and cloudy reasoning that is jeopardising their financial future.

1. What was your first positive experience with money?

Was it a gift from someone you love? Was it a reward for running errands or doing household chores during your school summer vacation? Was it money you earned in college by giving tuition to school kids?

2. What negative experience with money comes immediately to mind?

Was it a stock tip that failed miserably? Was it a distributor who got you to invest in numerous life insurance schemes? Was it lending money to someone very close who never ever returned it?

3. Who has influenced most of your money decisions till date?

This will help you understand the source of the client’s questions and who or what is influencing her decision.

4. What is it that you really want from me?

This will help you figure out why they think they need help. The responses may surprise your. They may be expecting you to make them rich quickly. They may expect you to solve a big challenge, such as perennial debt.  It could be a specific life event – death, divorce, windfall. You need to know what it is that drove them to find a financial adviser, and then more precisely, what led them to you.

Answers to these questions will help you understand your client’s apprehensions and help you communicate accordingly to establish trust and confidence.

Related Reading

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