Are You Speaking the Same Language as Your Clients?

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Are You Speaking the Same Language as Your Clients?

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Imagine this scenario.  

You wake up tomorrow, shuffle to the kitchen for your morning coffee and greet the family with whatever level of energy you typically muster at that time of day. But what if, instead of responding, they looked at you as if they didn’t understand what you were saying? What if, one day, everyone started speaking a different language and you were left trying to communicate without shared meaning?

While a slightly dramatic example, it’s not entirely different from a shift this industry is under-going when it comes to the language of retirement.  

  • Many clients use different words to describe the phase in their life when full time work is optional. If you are talking about retirement and they are thinking about the next chapter, there is a disconnect.
  • Many clients have said “no thanks” to the traditional path of working full-time and then stopping completely. Some want to transition to part-time work, some want to try something completely different and others are thinking about taking on unpaid work. If you are planning toward a day when they are not working at all, there is a disconnect.

The risk seems clear. You could end up speaking a different language than your client and lose relevance in the process.

New Investor Research on “The Death of Retirement”

Recently the team at Absolute Engagement had the privilege of conducting in-depth investor research on behalf of Savant Wealth Management.

The data underscores a significant trend. Client views of retirement are shifting and that trend is more pronounced among clients who are under the age of 45.  

And while these clients may not make up the bulk of your clients today, they will. Because it turns out people are aging whether you like it or not.

The Impact on Advice

This research may cause you to ask some difficult questions about how you are supporting clients in defining the next phase of their lives. But the greatest advisors are always willing to ask the tough questions.  

As you do, bear in mind that this shift in how we define, transition toward and live in retirement makes the work you do more important than ever. Clients desperately need guidance in crafting a vision for the future, one that provides meaning and fulfillment.

The irony is that clients may not even realize there is an alternative. Many clients are stuck on a path that does not reflect their true goals because it’s what we grew up believing was the only path forward. The advice, guidance and inspiration you provide to re-imagine that path may be the greatest gift you can give.  

But it starts by speaking the same language.

You can download the Savant report here.

Thanks for stopping by,

Julie

About the author

Julie Littlechild

Julie is a recognized expert on the drivers and evolution of client experience, client engagement. and referral growth. She is responsible for: designing the firm's strategic vision and product roadmap, conducting on-going investor and advisor research, driving firm growth and representing the company on conference stages around the world.
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