CHAPTER 8Trust, Culture, and Communication Taboos

The dual concepts of client trust and commitment have been presented and described widely throughout this book. Nearly every communication tool and technique described herein is something that a financial planner can use to improve the client–financial planner relationship and enhance client trust and commitment. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a clear definition of what trust means, as well as describe the primary ways a financial planner can establish trust with clients. Of foremost importance is the issue of cultural influence on both communication processes and the formation of trust. As is described in this chapter, many of the daily verbal and nonverbal communication approaches used by some financial planners can be interpreted as culturally inappropriate and sometimes offensive. No one wants to discredit his or her work and destroy client trust, but this may be happening inadvertently. Financial planners who have a solid understanding of the interaction between cultural values and norms and communication strategies will be in a much better position when it comes to creating, maintaining, and growing his or her financial planning practice.

As authors and university professors, one of the greatest joys associated with writing and teaching about financial planning involves our ongoing involvement with financial planning professionals. Although some firms attempt to create a mold of what they perceive to be a proxy ...

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