Your Crucial Client Conversations… getting them consistent, specific & methodical in 2013

Of the many things I’m learning from my advisory firm clients implementing their own approach to certainty-based advice, is how hard it actually is to industrialise the conversation they have with their advice clients each year as to why the client engages.

No Free Kicks…

By industrialise I mean to ensure their (re-)engagement conversations are consistent, specific and methodical (read Great by Choice by Jim Collins for the details on this thinking) regardless of the advisory team member conducting that appointment, regardless of market conditions, regardless of legislative changes – i.e. the client is perceiving value without relying on any ‘free kicks’ or compensating for any ‘hospital passes’ from external factors.  

Since I released Delivering Certainty last year to help financial advisers better engage their clients, three books have really taken on more meaning for me in regards how, why and what mindsets are required to build a better client engagement approach. I’ve already mentioned Great by Choice by Jim Collins. Simon Sinek’s Start With Why is another which I’ve mentioned previously and become more of a fan the more I browse it (my travelling bag is getting heavier as I’m still, unfortunately, a hard copy guy).

The latest one, again another re-introduction, is Crucial Conversations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler.

Watching the Australian Open tennis recently reminded me how important it is to keep the client “in context” and “in dialogue” similar to getting and keeping those fast-moving balls in the court.

Mastering the Dialogue

For all the technical training it takes to get the adviser to the ‘court’, I wondered where is the on-going training for all advisers as to how to control and keep the ball (i.e. the engagement dialogue) in it’s proper engagement context with the proper mindsets and proper client-focused outcome – too often advisers slip into their own idiosyncrasies and well-worn habits (i.e. not consistent, not methodical, not transferable), or worse-still, industry opinion about markets, legislation or product developments in attempts to ‘win’ (or justify) the next year of fees.

They are three of my key influences this year.

What are yours?


About Jim Stackpool

For nearly 30 years Jim has influenced, coached, and consulted to advisory firms across Australia. As founder of Certainty Advice Group, he leads a like-minded team of professional advisory firms seeking to create greater certainty for their clients. As an author, blogger, columnist, and keynote speaker, Jim is regularly called upon for his professional insights into the advice industry. His latest book Seeking Certainty is available now.

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