Beyond Numbers: The Power of Emotion in Financial Advising

In the world of financial planning services, numbers and strategies often take the spotlight. However, advisors sometimes overlook an essential element to a thriving practice – emotional connection with clients.

Whether it’s to win new business or make a lasting impression on an existing client, when you establish an emotional connection with your clients, you can transform your firm and develop a reputation for being someone they can trust.

Clients Value Trust as Much as Expertise

When it comes to financial decisions, most are deeply personal and tied to life goals, dreams, and real-life concerns. Current and prospective clients not only seek your expertise when coming to you for advisement, but also a sense of security and understanding. Establishing emotional connections helps you empathize with their unique circumstances, fostering trust and long-term relationships. And if there’s one thing successful financial advisors know, it’s attracting and retaining clients is all about relationships and the value you bring to them.

Tips to help financial advisors emotionally connect with clients:

Clients want to feel truly taken care of and cared for. Here are a few key strategies you can start using today to begin developing an emotional connection with your clients:

  • Active Listening: Pay attention not just to the numbers, but to your clients’ personal stories, goals, and fears. This helps you offer relevant solutions and shows that you genuinely care.
  • Personalized Approach: Treat each client as an individual. Remembering details about their lives and referencing them in conversations demonstrates your commitment to their well-being.
  • Open and Transparent Communication: Share your experiences, both successes and challenges. This humanizes you and encourages clients to be vulnerable and honest.
  • Consistent Follow-Ups: Regularly check in with clients beyond financial updates. Inquiring about personal milestones and challenges shows that you’re invested in their overall success.

One easy way to put all the following strategies into action is to implement The Bucket Plan ® Process.

This financial planning process offers financial advisors a powerful tool to emotionally connect with their clients by focusing on their clients’ life goals, needs, and aspirations. By categorizing assets into specific “buckets” for different time horizons now, soon, and later, advisors create a tangible representation of their clients’ financial journey.

Now, Soon, and Later buckets of The Bucket Plan®
The Now, Soon, and Later buckets of The Bucket Plan® retirement planning process.

As advisors help clients allocate their resources into these buckets based on their unique circumstances, they demonstrate a keen understanding of what their clients’ money means to them on a deeper level in the present and the long run. This process allows advisors to have meaningful conversations about their clients’ values, fears, and aspirations, creating a sense of trust and a good rapport.

Additionally, the Bucket Plan® process emphasizes ongoing communication and adjustments, reinforcing the client-advisor relationship. Financial advisors continuously refine the allocation of resources in each bucket, demonstrating their commitment to aligning financial strategies with clients’ evolving life stages and goals. This proactive and personalized approach can not only ensure financial success but also help clients feel understood and supported on their financial journey.

Practical Ways to Add ‘Heart’ To Your Existing Process:

Financial advisors everywhere can find opportunities to make an emotional connection with their clients in plenty of their existing processes. For example, while it’s considered standard practice in estate planning to capture and store important information, like clients’ financial statements, arrangements, household legal documents, and more, C2P-trained advisors have used the Family Estate Organizer to bring incredible value to the client and their beneficiaries.

A recent episode of The Bucket Plan® On-Demand Podcast describes how The Family Estate Organizer — a key deliverable in the Bucket Plan® process — has helped advisors nationwide to not just organize their clients’ assets and wishes but significantly strengthen their client relationships.

Personalize Your Client Experience

One advisor featured in the same podcast decided to take this packaged deliverable a step further to make an even more meaningful connection with his clients. Dean Thurman, Founding Partner of InvestWise Financial and White Glove, put his own spin on the Family Estate Organizer including all the financial essentials of the traditional C2P tool, but added additional content. His office describes this version as the Family Estate Organizer, “with a heart.”

His leather-bound binder features the client’s name laser-etched into the front and the sentimental elements included are sections for personal information and a special envelope with instructions for who will open it in the event of a loved one’s passing. It also includes a place for a favorite photo, words of wisdom, and life history complete with memories, traditions, and recipes.

Thurman’s firm provides these binders to every new client and claims it helps his business stand out and serves as a natural referral tool. “They brag to their friends about their beautiful family organizer,” Thurman said, which can eventually lead to more referrals.

Even further, Thurman used it recently to facilitate an important introduction with his existing clients and a new advisor who would be taking over their business. He says that going over the binder together left the client and the new advisor “in tears” and helped establish a sense of trust in a single appointment that would usually take four or five meetings to establish.

Final Thoughts

In the financial services industry, connecting on an emotional level can be the differentiator that propels your business forward. Building trust, understanding your clients’ aspirations, and providing tailored solutions is proven to serve your client and business alike. By prioritizing these connections, you’re not just managing finances – you’re helping individuals achieve their life goals and secure their financial futures.

Financial Professional Use Only

The information provided in this presentation is not intended as investment advice or legal advice. The information provided is for informational and training purposes only. The information in this presentation was accurate as of the time the material was created. Tax laws and rulings can frequently change. Please discuss the client’s current situation with an accountant or tax advisor.