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Introduction to the Financial Professional's Guide to Communication

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In this introduction to his book, Bob Finder explains how he will teach you to actively listen, speak plainly with precision and passion, and engage clients with uncommon effectiveness.
This chapter is from the book

Introduction: The Power of the Dance

  • Life is the dancer and you are the dance.
  • —Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, 2005

After absorbing the ideas in this book, you will never again communicate nor define yourself as you once did. Your clients see and listen to you as never before. Your counsel has never been clearer or more clearly understood. You are more attuned to your clients and your ability to serve them. You exude passion and conviction; your emotions are contagious, your professionalism unmatched. Go ahead, pinch yourself—it’s true—you’re finally learning to dance.

Throughout your career you’ve been following directions, taking one step then another, doing what you were taught, what you learned, and what you do the best. But something was missing until now—your identity. You befriended your clients, but never as best friends. You filled the part, but never played the role. You spoke of facts, but your words lacked feelings. You sought self-control, but faltered in self-absorption.

The movement of your body is now in rhythm with your speech. Your facial expressions receive and emit emotion. You express and share ideas with ease. You relish the interaction. Practice and performance have merged into one. You communicate with your clients at a highly evolved state.

You hear your clients as you would wish to be heard. You understand their fears and concerns; their dreams and hopes are yours. You’re committed to learning about your clients without prying or intruding. You inquire simply, devoting your attention to their answers not the formulation of your questions. You prove that you listen and energy flows freely between you. Your clients confide in you. Their trust and respect for you grows, and your relationships strengthen and flourish. Critical listening is a fundamental element of your communications.

You connect with your clients no matter the venue size. You extend an arm toward your client as you cast your eyes upon them and hold the contact as you deliver and complete your point. You look and dress the part—successful, impressive, classy, and respectful. You’re firmly grounded whether seated or standing, and you gesture with ease and in synchrony with your message. You see and are seen in a new light.

Your voice projects not merely words, but emotions. You vary your pace and your tone for full effect. You let yourself pause—to think, to reflect, and to recharge; you let yourself pause—to pique your clients’ curiosity, to draw them closer, to let them absorb. And you respect your clients and yourself by expunging non-words and hedge words from your speech. You have found your voice.

You understand that while style is critical, so is command of substance. You’ve perfected clear and concise explanations of recurring subjects in plain, simple English, and enveloped them with the facts and feelings relating to each client’s case to make them relevant. You support your position with statistics and analytics, patiently teaching instead of bewildering, and you paint visual imagery with your stories, analogies, and personal experiences that touch your clients’ hearts and minds.

You are proud to explain what you bring to each client relationship. You trust your disciplined process to find wealth management solutions in each of the four cornerstones, and you are committed to helping your clients build, manage, protect, and transition their wealth.

Your mastery of the critical elements of communication bestows upon you great power to exert on behalf of your clients. You use that power wisely and always in your clients’ best interests—with care, skill, and caution—to help them succeed financially.

Indeed, you are ready. You are now going to learn how to dance.

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