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Advisors Must Learn to Read Hidden Client Concerns

December 19, 2016

Addressing clients’ hidden worries — and helping to alleviate them — requires that financial advisors pay close attention to their clients’ behavior, advisors tell Investor’s Business Daily.

Clients sometimes put on a brave face before meeting their advisor – and that brave face could mask their real concerns, the publication writes. To break through that facade, advisors need to go slowly and pay attention, particularly to nonverbal clues, advisor Stephanie Fullerton tells Investor’s Business Daily. She suggests paying extra attention to clients’ body language that could suggest stress, such as slouching, fidgeting or crossing their arms.

To arrive at the real issue, she says, it helps to ask open-ended questions about how the client feels or their concerns overall, the publication writes. And in some cases, it’s best to stop pressing for information and wait, according to Investor’s Business Daily.

It also helps to have a second person focus on the client only, undistracted by taking notes or looking up information, certified financial planner Jarrett Solomon tells the publication.

Doing so can also help advisors spot when a client loses interest and get them back on track, he says. In addition, experienced advisors should notice changes in patterns of behavior, such as when a chatty client stays quiet during a meeting, Investor’s Business Daily writes.

Advisor Nancy Fromm, meanwhile, says that couples often require extra care when it comes to nonverbal cues. It’s important for advisors to pay attention and make eye contact with both clients to understand the needs of each of them — and sometimes go the extra mile to make the quiet ones feel part of the conversation, she tells the publication.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Investor's Business Daily article cited in this story, click here.