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What does a ‘comfortable’ retirement look like in financial terms?

In your role as an IFA, how often have you been asked the question: How much is enough for me to retire and live comfortably?  You are the expert, so this should be easy for you to answer – do you have a figure in mind?

Realistically though, before you can establish how much is enough, it’s important to find out what “comfortable” means to them. What are your clients’ goals and aspirations? What are their hopes and plans for the future? It’s common to find that they don’t yet know the answers, and this is an opportunity for you to add real value by offering more than a straightforward conventional answer.

Help to visualise the future

Professional coaches learn and utilise a range of very powerful interpersonal tools and techniques to enable deeper, more meaningful and effective conversations. Through applying effective listening and questioning skills they are able to help their clients explore and understand their aspirations and motivation, and start to visualise their future.

Listening, building rapport and establishing strong relationships don’t necessarily come easy for a technically orientated financial expert, but they can be learned and they are exactly the type of competencies that the financial adviser will find invaluable to be successful in today’s competitive marketplace.

The best financial advice will always be achieved by helping clients establish their life plan. With ‘soft’ coaching skills it’s possible to help them overcome blockages in their thinking and gain clarity over their potential future – a future that can then be mapped out with a financial plan, one that can be assessed and reviewed.

Fundamentally with the help of coaching tools and techniques, your role can develop so that you move from ‘just’ telling clients what to do with their money, to helping their dreams become reality.

Listen, don’t tell

And arguably the most rewarding aspect of this approach is experiencing that ‘light-bulb’ moment, when clients have a true picture of what the future holds, and what they need to do to arrive there. They feel empowered, relieved, excited even, and truly appreciative of your help in giving them the space and time to find answers to their own questions.

It’s a vital tool for building long-lasting, loyal relationships on which to form your own stable, robust and successful business.

Author: Jan Bowen-Nielsen, Managing Director of Quiver Management

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