Ask (Don't Tell) and You Shall Receive

 

Guiding investors with polite questions is often more effective than directing them; here are six steps to get this process right.

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During the almost two decades that I’ve worked with advisory firm owners, I’ve changed my approach on explaining various elements of business management. For example, I no longer give owners reasons why they should change a behavior; and I’ve found this tactic can help many advisors in their work with clients, too.

Like business consulting, a significant part of financial advice is helping clients change their behavior. I learned long ago that the only thing that changes behavior is, well, when they change their behavior. And only they can do that. Not you.

Consequently, I’ve stopped trying to convince my clients to do something in their business, and I suggest you stop doing it with your clients, too. Instead, focus on the choices that your clients make — and help them to focus on those choices, too.