Mar 22 2022
Tips for a successful fact-finding conversation with your client
By Venus Lee
Regardless the nature of industry, fact-finding is an essential component that many businesses look into before drawing upon a decision or making recommendations. A comprehensive fact-finding process provides an abundance of information that financial advisors can use to identify and assess the client’s individual needs.
Terry Ang, a four-year MDRT member from Malaysia, shares effective fact-finding tips he learned from his experience working in the financial services industry.
- Keep questioning
A lot of times, people may not be aware of the problems and potential gaps that are present in their lives. As Steve Jobs once said, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” In this regard, it is important for financial advisors to cultivate a sense of curiosity to always ask questions to learn more about their prospects.
Ang shared that he would usually ask his clients a list of questions, ranging from their life objectives to the debts they currently have, and the arrangements they have in place to ensure that their family members will not be burdened if something were to happen to them.
Through active questioning, financial advisors not only benefit by gaining a better grasp of the challenges that their prospects are facing, in terms of their finances or their lives in general, but it also allows their clients to understand where they are and why a financial plan is needed.
- Treat your clients like a friend or family member
While professionalism should be the foundation of all client interaction, cultivating a friendlier and closer relationship can sometimes be a better plan of action. Taking into consideration that relationships between friends are built upon common connections and mutual understanding, it adds a substantial human touch that encourages clients to open up in sharing more information throughout the fact-finding process.
Ang highlighted, “I would always treat my clients as if they were a friend or family member of mine, making an effort to talk to them, learn from them, and help them out with all the things that I know, and not just about insurance.” As family and friends are often the ones we turn to in sharing our joys and sorrows, establishing a friendship or family bond with the clients and prospects would make them feel appreciated and comfortable in disclosing more information.
“Some of the little gestures I take to show them I truly care for them include wishing them on their birthdays, sending them gifts during festive seasons, or simply celebrating their small accomplishments in life,” Ang said.
- Find common ground
Recognizing that clients are more inclined to make deals with someone whom they have a personal connection with, building relationship is thus the catalyst to a successful fact-finding conversation. As important as it is for financial advisors to gather information about their clients, initiating conversations to encourage clients to share about their personal interests or make comments on the current happenings will help financial advisors understand them better.
“From my point of view, knowing a bit about everything is also another great approach to initiate fact-finding conversations with clients. As every client comes from a different background with a different set of interests and hobbies, it is important for us to be able to adapt and communicate with them on a personal level to be on the same page,” Ang stated. “For example, if I have client who is interested in cars, I will talk to him about cars. Similarly, if my client is a doctor, I would begin my conversation taking about health and wellness.”
By adapting and engaging with clients through a common topic in developing a sense of connectivity, it is easier for financial advisors to personalize a financial plan that speaks to their expectations.
Conclusively, fact-finding is not just about gathering information. It is about connecting with the clients on a personal level to understand their pain points. This is because, it is only when a solid foundation has been established that financial advisors will be able to draw up effective plans and recommendations to assist clients in reaching their financial goals.