Close Close

Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

The bridge to inquiry

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Given recent headlines, prospects are understandably skeptical of any financial professional, and trust among the general public of the industry as a whole is at historically low levels. How do you get a client to relax and open up in initial client meetings? Thomas Rieman has some thoughts, and shares many in his “how to” new book entitled “Bridging the value gap: A financial advisor’s guide to being a true advisor and attracting more affluent clients.”

“The bridge from your introduction to the process of inquiry is simple yet powerful in helping prospective clients open up to you. This bridge does three things. First, it answers the prospect’s unspoken question, ‘Why should I reveal anything about myself to this person?’ Second, it acknowledges that being privy to information about their lives, particularly the personal and intimate information a financial advisor needs, is a privilege and not a right. Finally, the bridge gains permission to ask questions. An effective bridge sounds something like this: ‘In order to understand how I might be (or I can be) of value to you, I need to ask you some questions. Is that all right?’ Ultimately, a meaningful introduction and effective bridge helps you exhibit both purpose and professionalism. In the first 60 seconds, they set you apart from the masses and allow you to effectively move into the next steps of the advisory process.”