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Communication Essentials for Financial Planners by Joseph W. Goetz, John E. Grable

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CHAPTER 3Structuring the Process of Communication through the Office Environment

INTRODUCTION

The benefits associated with developing and improving your interpersonal communication skills can be quite impactful. Possibly the most important outcome for financial planners has to do with increased client trust and commitment.1 Communication, both verbal and nonverbal, is believed to be the most important factor in shaping a client’s perceptions of planner competency.2 While it is true that the technical proficiency, physical appearance, and reputation of a financial planner all play an important role in shaping a client’s perceptions, it is the ability to communicate effectively that leads to long-lasting client–financial planner relationships. This insight is a two-edged sword. As noted throughout this book, financial planners who are skilled at listening, framing a client’s goals and needs, interpreting client cues, and responding in ways that are supportive and directive have more opportunities to gain the trust of their clients. The downside to this insight is that some advisers may be tempted to use their communication skills and abilities for nefarious purposes. That is, certain financial advisers may find that they can more easily manipulate the attitudes and behaviors of clients through the application of interpersonal communication techniques.

The point of this book is not about client manipulation. When we talk about manipulation, we mean using the skills you will learn ...

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