“Sometimes my clients expect me to be psychologist, career counselor, therapist AND financial advisor!” one of my advisor coaching clients recently lamented. It’s a sentiment to which many of us can relate. When that happens, the key is to remember that asking the right questions is as important, takes as much skill and provides as much benefit as providing the right answers.
As financial advisors, a large part of the value proposition we bring to our clients is our knowledge and expertise. But we’ve all been in situations where a client lays at our feet an issue to which there is no financial solution. In fact, there are many issues that our clients – indeed all of us – face every day to which there are no external answers. No one can tell you if leaving your spouse, quitting your job or moving to Paris to follow your dream is the right thing to do. Each of us has to find those answers within ourselves. There’s nothing in Financial Advisor 101 that prepares us to help clients with these issues. And yet, as trusted and respected advisors, clients often look to us for guidance. Successfully handling those situations requires us to recognize two things: First, our role changes, and second, a different skill set is required to preserve and strengthen the client relationship.
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