Clients are often frustrated by service providers who don’t know how to listen.
However, those same clients are also often frustrated by service providers who don’t bring new ideas to the table.
Advisors who do know how to listen are often accused of simply playing back what their clients have been telling them all along. And Advisors who do suggest new ideas are often accused of trying to sell the latest big solution dictated by head office that is completely inappropriate for the client.
Damned if you do … Damned if you don’t!
Successful Advisors recognise that, like all of us, Client’s don’t know what they don’t know.
Whilst some clients might enjoy their Advisors to stroke their egos by agreeing with everything they say, all clients have much more respect for Advisors who challenge them to think out of the box with best practice, benchmarking, and client specific insights.
The best approach seems to be to listen to what clients think they need, but resist the temptation of being limited by those needs. Then use these nuggets of information to frame the topic rather than to be limited by what’s already on the canvas!
Even though some clients might have strong opinions, successful Advisors must have the strength of character to address what their clients need … not just what they think then need!