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Asking Great Questions is a Superpower.

Asking Great Questions is a Superpower.
By Brendan Frazier, Chief Behavioral Officer, RFG Advisory

Skeptical? That’s totally understandable.
Name a skill or technique that:

Increases likability
Builds instant trust
Yields personal, sensitive information about someone

These 3 things are crucial for anyone that works with human beings and their money.

In fact, a financial advisor without the ability to do any of these 3 things would be like a basketball player that can’t pass, shoot, or dribble.

And that’s why asking questions is a superpower.

As it turns out, asking questions is a proven, tested technique to increase likability, build trust and yield personal, and sensitive information.

Once you embrace the superpower of asking questions, the next natural question typically sounds something like this:

“Okay, but what questions should I ask?”

And, while that’s a good place to start, there’s a secret the best question-askers know that most people don’t.

More important than WHAT you ask is WHEN you ask it.

A great question asked at the wrong time is no longer a great question.

So, let’s go through six different steps of the client journey and arm you with three questions to use at each stage:

Intro Call
Discovery Meeting
Onboarding
Implementation/Recommendations
Review Meetings
Every Conversation

1) Intro Call -This is the meeting where you’re talking with somebody for the first time about their money. It might be somewhat referred from a client or COI, a website inquiry, or someone you’ve known for years finally reaching out with a question. The whole purpose of the conversation is to understand what’s on their mind and if it’s a good fit.

The Questions:
What prompted you to reach out?
Why now?
Let’s assume it’s April 1, 2024 (one year from today), what has happened that tells you this was a success?

2) Discovery Meeting – This is the meeting where you’re seeking to better understand their goals, what they want to accomplish, what’s important to them, etc.

The Questions:
What’s important about money to you?
If money were no longer an issue, what would your life look like?
What’s the #1 thing you want to avoid in the future?

3) Onboarding – Depending on your business model and process, onboarding happens at multiple different stages. The key is to ask these questions at some point before a prospect becomes a client to set expectations.

*There are also advisors who use these questions in their “Intro” conversation as a way to screen out certain individuals with unrealistic expectations.

The Questions:
What’s important to you in a relationship with an advisor?
What role do you want us to play in your lives?
How often do you want to hear from us/get together?

4) Implementation – These questions apply for any step where you’re implementing advice or any time there is a recommendation or a discussion that requires the client take action.

The Questions:
What do you want to focus on first? (Primarily for the first implementation meeting when you have a laundry list of recommendations.)
Scale from 1-10, how confident are you that you can ___?
What’s one small step you can take today to ____?

5) Ongoing Client Service – Use these questions to add a little zest into the routine and mundane client review meetings when everything is on “cruise control.”

The Questions:
What was money like for you growing up?
On a scale from 1-10, how satisfied do you feel with your finances?
What’s possible now?

6) Every Conversation – These are called “staple questions”, because they can and SHOULD be asked at the beginning of every conversation you have with every prospect and client. It instantly signals to them that it’s their meeting and you’re simply there to help them.

I’m curious what’s on your mind?
What do you want to make sure we talk about today?

*Don’t ask: “Is there anything you want to talk about?” (The brain is wired to automatically respond “No”, so you’re subconsciously discouraging them to answer.)

A great question asked at the right time has the ability to transform your conversations, your relationships, and ultimately, your business.

 

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