Okay, weird title but I think this will be very enlightening particularly if you are a financial advisor or a money coach helping people invest…

Because there are only a certain percentage of clients that need a lot of numbers and data in order to move forward with you – or with an investment strategy – even though most will ask for it. Knowing the difference is the missing piece that can totally change your success rate! So I have made a video explaining it all!

In working with thousands of success-minded people all seeking a better income and stronger financial management skills, I’ve come to discover that the ways in which people approach their money situations can really be divided into two groups.

Especially if you are working in the finance field, it’s extremely important to be able to recognize and understand the very basics of how your clients think if you want them to actually use and value your services.

The One Client You Should Fire-hose with Data-The 10%

There’s one particular type of person that is highly intellectual and, above all, really craves someone that’s going to engage them in an intellectual debate over strategies and numbers. They aren’t going to rest until you meet them at a high level of intellectual challenge. They aren’t going to feel validated and heard for their intellectual brilliance until you start meeting them there. This is the one type of client that will actually benefit from 20 page reports and endless statistical data. You can absolutely fire-hose them with data!

And you know what they’re going to do? They’re going to read and consume it ALL and they’re going to call you up and want to talk about it. You’re going to wonder, “Don’t you have a life?”

This IS their life and the stuff they LOVE to analyze and talk about. This type of person uses data and information to better themselves and this tactic absolutely extends into their finances.

Your Average Client-The 90%

For the majority of people who go out seeking financial guidance, let’s say 90%, there is one absolute rule of thumb to keep in mind that will help you with 100% of this type of client!

Here it is… all of their decisions around money and how they save it, how they look at their debt, how they invest it, how they manage it – are completely emotional.

Even people who think they’re acting rationally and logically are often driven by their underlying feelings about money or lack thereof: scarcity.

This is what I call the mind/body/money connection.

Ever dealt with a client who could completely transform their finances if they would ONLY take your information and tactical advice and put it to good use, but they just won’t?

It’s frustrating for you to witness this, but it can absolutely be remedied if approached in the correct way.

Unlike the 10%, most people will not utilize fact-based advice simply because it speaks little to the actual emotions driving them. If you can gently help your client recognize what emotional patterns have fueled their financial situation in the past, you have a far greater chance of helping them change their ways and start actually hearing and heeding your advice in a real way.

Here is a process that is probably unlike anything you’ve ever done as a financial advisor or money coach, but I guarantee that in using it with difficult clients, you will see results!

The Mind/Body/Money Connection at Work

Above all else, you always want to keep in the back of your mind for the majority of your clients, that you’re dealing with people that are full of emotion surrounding their money.

Maybe they have trouble saving because they binge spend on things they don’t need. Maybe they experienced a traumatic life event that drained their savings, leaving them in constant fear of having no security.

Maybe they are just terrible money managers and although they make enough to have security, poorly mismanage their funds and feel guilt and shame.

These emotions are typically residual programming that was handed down from their family as a way of operating with money. Most people will simply replicate the emotional patterns around money that their parents exhibited, regardless of their own financial situation.

I have found this to be most common for people in the middle and upper middle class whose family came from the working or lower middle class. These people tend to have a tremendous amount of programming that is scarcity, fear, disappointment and shame based. This is how they will treat and manage any money that comes into their life.

There are few to no empowering, logical actions taken; only fearful, impulsive and emotion-driven ones. Their financial situation has less to do with their income, than it does with their inner processes.

So even though you’re going to give them the world’s greatest strategies, the best information, graphs, charts and tactical things they can do right now and in the future, you’re essentially offering these things to a full-blown mind/body/money connection.

The more quickly you address it, that elephant in the room, the faster you’ll be able to move forward with all of those helpful tactics.

Being able to talk to them about the emotional place they’re at, the goals they want to create and the emotional factors driving them is what will really help them take that first, progressive step to bettering their finances using the tools you’ve offered them.

How Does the Client REALLY Feel about Money?

So how does this work? let’s walk through it.

There you are with your client. You’re mapping out all of the strategies you want them to use. You’re also probably looking at their financial picture and status quo of where they are right now. You could give them all the greatest strategies in the world and it will make complete sense for them to invest with you.

When they don’t, you’ll be thinking: “Are they crazy?” What you’re up against is a client who has been operating literally down to their nervous system for their whole life in certain ways around money.

Although they may not visibly show it or even be totally aware of it, as you’re talking about their money, they are probably being emotionally triggered. Common feelings triggered by money include: fear, anxiety, shame, a sense of battle, disappointment, anger and sadness.

This is important. You actually do want to trigger them here; talk about money and strategies in a way that might induce feelings like this. Only once their triggers are brought to the forefront, can they be identified and subdued.

So when you get to this point and think the client may have been triggered in some way, just pause and take a deep breath.

I call this the Stop, Drop and Roll method because it’s catchy, applies and is easy to remember.

As you stop, you really want to isolate this moment and bring clarity to both you and the client about what they may be feeling around their money.

Ask them, straight out, how they feel. This may seem foreign to you as someone who typically focuses on facts rather than feelings, but catching them off guard like this can lead to some very good insight.

Just check in with them; pry them open a little and get them to voice some genuine reactions.

Sometimes clients will be stand-offish about this, but don’t give up too easily.

Direct the conversation by asking them specific questions: “Are you feeling stressed by this information? Are you anxious about saving money?”

You may be surprised at what some people are willing to offer you here. Maybe they’ll start to feel a sense of anxiety or maybe even embarrassment looking at their numbers. Maybe they’re overwhelmed at what you’re asking them to do, or feel that it’s impossible for them. Without voicing these very significant feelings, they will most likely just slip back into their old pathways of resisting smart money habits.

Now, it’s time to drop down some real clarity for your client using a little visualization exercise.

Say to them: “Okay, it’s actually really common to have these emotions come up when you’re looking at your money situation, which is why people avoid their money situations so often, right?”

This will make them feel less alone and less embarrassed about what they’re feeling. Then, ask them if they’re willing to play along and do a little exercise with you that will ultimately help make what you’re asking them to do financially, easier on them.

Don’t be nervous or feel strange about asking them to do this.

Remember that they are there because they believe in your credibility as an expert and they automatically want to trust you and your guidance.

Say: “I want you to close your eyes and visualize yourself, maybe around the age of six or seven. I want you to put your parents in the picture. So there you are as a child listening in to a conversation between your parents. They’re dealing with, handling, thinking about, talking about money and the bills, finances, or taxes.

What do you see in that picture? What’s the emotion, what’s the feeling, what’s happening with your parents?”

Most people are going to say something like, “Oh, they look anxious or sad or disappointed or angry,” and there’s going to be a strong correlation between what they see in their visualization with their parents and what they just told you they felt about their own finances.

This link almost ALWAYS dictates how they operate with their money as an adult.

Say: “So I want to suggest to you that you are wired or programmed with these particular emotions in dealing with your money. Does that make sense to you? Have you noticed that before? How long do you think you’ve felt that way around money? This is a potential explanation for your current financial situation.”

They might earnestly agree and say something even more telling: “This is why I hate dealing with my bills and sometimes even avoid paying them!”

What happens in that space is now they’ve had an A-HAA moment; they’ve sort of opened their eyes to a pattern that’s been replaying within them that they were most likely not aware of.

This creates the possibility for them to now see how their doubt, mistrusts, anxieties and feelings aren’t really justified in their current situation. It’s just how they’re wired to operate around money. This creates a new space from which they can learn to view their finances as empowering instead of overwhelming.

Strengthen Rapport and Challenge the Client Anew

Now you can roll out the solution for them.

Take this opportunity to re-ask, re-state, or re-challenge the client to step up and make a real change.

Say: “I want to suggest to you that all of that emotion that you have been programmed with has hindered how you deal with money. This is your chance to make a powerful, new decision and push through those old habits of emotion and make a change that will be so beneficial to you and your finances.”

This client will most likely be looking at you with entirely new eyes! They’re going to have a connection with you that they didn’t have prior to this session. This builds trust in YOU as opposed to trust in their old habits of doubt and impossibility.
They will be far more likely to take your advice about money and be willing to try new, bigger things.

So try it out and leave a comment. I’d love to hear how it goes!

And remember that when you can get someone to push through that inner wall of fear and make a new, empowered decision, you have changed somebody’s life and that will be empowering to YOU as well!

Xoxo
Margaret