The Courage to Have the Right Client Conversations

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The Courage to Have the Right Client Conversations

Red divider line

The great advisors I know are empathetic. They ask good questions. They provide meaningful advice. They are rock stars in their own right.

And they are human. For better or for worse, that small fact can sometimes get in the way of conversations we need to be having with our clients. 

Sometimes we fear the awkward or the intense. We aren’t sure how to pivot into different conversations. And once we’re there, it’s less clear how to come back gracefully.

Over the last several months, I (and the team at Absolute Engagement) have been honored, humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to work with several advisory firms who were willing to try a new approach to their client reviews and learn new skills to drive deeper conversations.

The results have been profound.

In the process we learned a few things.  

  • We learned that it takes courage to have the right conversations with clients. Even the most seasoned advisors still struggle with having deep conversations about how clients are (really) feeling.
  • We learned that having a defined agenda is helpful, until it isn’t. While having a defined agenda is important, it can sometimes get in the way of moving off the predetermined path and having different conversations.
  • We learned that timing is everything. It’s one thing to ask good questions of clients when you meet with them, but another to ask those in advance of a review meeting. 
  • We learned that people can still surprise you. It’s easy to assume that some clients don’t want to ‘go deeper’, but taking the chance can have profound effects. It turns out clients are human too.
  • We learned that getting couples on the same page is critical. It’s one thing to ask good questions of the person who tends to drive the conversation, but planting seeds that drive better conversations between couples leads to extraordinary engagement.

One of the best decisions we made was to partner with Kim Payne on the training and coaching aspects of this new work we are doing. Kim is the Founder of 9rok, based in Melbourne, Australia. And we’re proud to see her as part of our extended team. 

I asked Kim to spend some time sharing her experience and ideas on these key learning points and what it takes to have the right conversations at the right time. It’s a 20-minute video so grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by,


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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