09 Nov Listening builds trust
Advisors encounter different types of people over the course of their careers. When you understand your clients’ reality, you can provide better service. While some people are open books, others aren’t so easy to read! It takes more work to understand their point of view. We employ interview techniques at Croesus that could help investment professionals such as yourself grasp client needs and fears in order to offer tailored service that is both efficient and proactive.
Start reaping information!
When you survey clients, it is best to start by gathering information. At this stage, active listening techniques such as open-ended questions, clarification, and empathy are obviously used, but other complementary techniques can increase your chances of success. We have three additional interview techniques that you can add to your arsenal to get participants to open up.
1. Mirror your interviewee’s language when asking questions
Human beings tend to open up when they see similarities between themselves and the person they are speaking to. By listening carefully to the words your interviewees use, you can mirror their language in your questions. If your interviewee uses terms that are not quite right, you can always clear things up once you have finished collecting information. If you correct your interviewee too early in the process, they might feel judged and hold back from expressing themselves freely. Your exchange will be less authentic.
Interviewee: My brother-in-law told me it’s best to invest in stable rate investments.
Interviewer: Why is a stable rate important for you?
2. Understand that your interviewee is always right (even when wrong)
Sometimes interviewees reveal belief in something that is not true. If this happens, hold back from setting them right. You are still collecting information. Correcting your interviewee at this stage could make them feel uncomfortable and less willing to share. Instead acknowledge that you understand their point of view. If it is important, you can set things straight later.
Interviewee: Investments with stable rates have the highest long-term returns.
Interviewer: I see that you have a long-term outlook on your investments.
3. Answer a question with a question
You want to understand your interviewee’s needs and reality. While gathering information, encourage them to speak more than you. It is easy to fall into the trap of answering your interviewee’s questions too quickly and then find yourself being interviewed instead. Try fielding a question with a question. If this is not possible, give a short answer and continue with a related question.
Interviewee: Do investments with stable rates provide the highest long-term returns?
Interviewer: It depends on the type of investment, but why is investing your money over the long term important to you?
As you can see, interviewing is an art. Once you find the techniques that best suit your style, you will reap rich rewards. The information you collect will help you adapt your approach and present your clients with products that are in line with their situation and needs.