Clients generally seek out financial advisors because they know they don’t have all of the right answers. They come to you with questions, expecting that you’re the financial expert, and therefore, you’ll have access to all of the answers.
While there is certainly some truth to this, we think that this mindset needs to be tweaked. And it’s not just the client’s mindset that needs to be tweaked; it’s yours, as well. You should not only be the keeper of answers to all financial questions. You should also be the master of question asking. It all comes back to a theme that we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about recently—the importance of starting with “Why”. Put simply, you need to hear a client’s “Why” before you can deliver any kind of meaningful “how”.
Your greatest asset shouldn’t be your ability to answer tough financial questions. Your greatest asset should be the combination of your knowledge AND your ability to ask tough financial questions. You don’t have all of the answers. And you shouldn’t. What you have though, and what sets you apart from all the various financial gurus with books and television shows, is your ability to lead clients to their perfectly tailored answer, by asking them the right questions.
Advisors play an incredibly pivotal role in clients’ lives when they help them to think critically about their “Why,” and then guide them on their journey to finding the right answers. Ask the right questions about your client’s Why. Ask the harder questions, the deeper questions and the more important questions.
Questions lead to answers. Better questions lead to even better answers.