Fifteen years ago, a prospective client found me online and asked if we could meet to discuss their situation. After a brief conversation on the phone, we set up an appointment. Admittedly, I was a bit apprehensive since they told me they had already met with three other potential advisors who weren’t the right fit.
When we met, we chatted a bit to break the ice. Then I began asking questions – about them, their life, their hopes, dreams, goals. After about twenty minutes, they asked me why I wasn’t talking about investments. After all, isn’t that what I do? They told me that’s what the other three advisors talked about from the beginning – what they invest in, what kind of returns they were getting and how much money they could make them.
At this point, I explained how I work with clients. The first thing I have to do is understand the needs and personality of someone to see if I can even help them. I told them the questions I’m asking help me think like them financially, so that I can help them reach their goals. Investments are simply a tool that I use to help build a financial plan based on their goals.
Needless to say, they chose me as their advisor because, “I was looking at them as a person and not as a dollar amount.” Fifteen years later, they are still my client and enjoying their tenth year of retirement because they continue to successfully follow their plan.