When I interact with IFAs they have this major complaint: “MANY OF MY CLIENTS DO NOT LISTEN TO ME”

This is true not just for IFAs but also for other professionals like Chartered Accountants, Lawyers, doctors…How many times have you said (or heard from a fellow professional) “my client makes a mess and then expects me to clean up after him”. Why does this happen?

Well look at your own life – do you listen to your parents or well wishers or boss? No. Not always. To listen to somebody you need to FEEL the following:

1. This person is competent to advise me: If you have a tooth ache you go to a good dentist, right? You do not go to your mother or father! They love you, they care about you….BUT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR COMPETENCE and Qualifications.

2. He should feel he is getting appropriate advice: Many people “sell”. Most of the time they are suggesting solutions that may not be appropriate at all. Recently a 64 year old woman was being sold a NFO…and when she did not bite she was being pushed a pension plan. Luckily she called me…and I told her the virtues of the word ‘NO”. She just did not need any of this shit which was being pushed at her. She had a nice equity / mf portfolio and that was doing well. So, thanks, but no thanks.

3. Sincerity of advice: Some advisers do not listen long enough so the client does not feel that there has been any application of mind at all by the professional. Again a communication problem, and can be easily learnt by the professional.

4.Intimidating language: when you throw a lot of jargon clients get intimidated and get defensive. In such cases too they just do not implement what you suggested. So speak in a language that the client can understand so that he/ she accept what you are saying. Speaking in a simple language without jargon is a must!!

5. Not all clients are in the same level as you: To step into the clients shoe you have to remove your own shoe!! Just imagine how difficult it is to get into somebody else’s shoe without removing your own shoe. Many IFAs forget that the client comes from a different background, has different compulsions, may not be able to say NO to his super pushy bank RM, may be comfortable with a different asset allocation than what you have suggested – do not jump before you step into his shoe and walk a mile.

6. If you are a pure adviser you need to give a client more time to actually do things. Your own office may quickly fill up a form and log in an application the next day..but the client may not prioritize the investments. In such cases you need to be patient but firm in the follow up. Patience, patience, patience!!

7. Some clients will come to you because somebody sent them but will continue to do things their own way! Yes there are some clients who believe that they can read a few websites, spew some jargon, and think they do not need you. They came just to show off that they know as much (if not more) as you do. Let them come, talk, and go. Charge your fees and relax.

…7 is a good number to start with right?

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  1. To listen to somebody you need to FEEL the following: –

    Only one thing — TRUST

    Most of the morons are neither competent nor trustworthy.

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