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Saturday, November 17, 2012

 

The Financial Professional's Guide to Communication by Robert L. Finder, Jr. - Book review




The Financial Professionals Guide to Communication

How to Strengthen Client Relationships and Build New Ones


By: Robert L. Finder, Jr.

Published: October 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
ISBN-10: 0133017907
ISBN-13: 978-0133017908
Publisher: FT Press










"As financial professionals we share a common purpose that cannot be better said than 'We help clients build, manage, protect, and transition wealth'", writes Managing Director of a national financial services firm, Robert L. Finder, Jr., in his very practical and straight talking book The Financial Professionals Guide to Communication: How to Strengthen Client Relationships and Build New Ones. The author describes how the most effective financial professionals are the ones who are best able to communicate effectively with their clients, and shares the techniques for improving those essential skills for any financial adviser.

Robert L. Finder, Jr. recognizes that financial planners must first understand themselves what is their role, and why their services are important and valuable to clients. The author points out how critical it is for investment professionals to develop and maintain a high level of trust with their clients. To create this high level of trust, a financial guide must be able to communicate with the client on a basis of complete honesty and full understanding. Robert Finder describes how many professionals either talk down to their clients, or use a condescending tone of voice. At other times, the investment adviser will speak in incomprehensible jargon and technical data that goes over the head of the client.


Robbert L. Finder (photo left) offers a more effective alternative approach of listening carefully, speaking as a peer, and providing understandable advice that is right for the investor. The successful adviser understands their purpose, and is able to communicate it effectively to clients to provide clarity and confidence. The trusted adviser possesses the skill and discipline to listen carefully to the goals, aspirations, and the questions shared by the client in an open, non-judgmental and non-argumentative manner. The effective professional speaks clearly, with confidence in their knowledge and their ability to provide real assistance, and conveys that important and sought after clarity of goals and purpose.

Robert L. Finder, Jr. demonstrates how the accomplished financial professional continues to practice and polish existing communication skills for continued and constant improvement. The author provides the following chapters to develop and enhance the adviser's communication skills:

* Defining your core
* The secret of listening
* Your financial professional will see and hear you differently now
* Please, tell me more
* * Any simple questions?
* The secrets of speaking
* Just get rid of them
* What did he say?
* The eyes say it all
* Are you a substance abuser?
* It's showtime
* Wise emperors
* Let the dance begin

For me, the power of the book is how Robert L. Finder, Jr. combines a strong theoretical base for improved communication while providing the essential skills to ensure success. The author provides the reasoning behind the techniques, as well as the exercises, to provide context. The author offers a client focused approach that considers both the needs and the dignity of the investor. Robert Finder knows from experience that not all clients are familiar with the industry jargon, but not all are completely out of their element either. The author recommends listening openly and with empathy, to ensure a connection that is based on real trust.

The author stresses building rich and meaningful relationships, that will be sustained over the years, as the investor's portfolio grows and develops. The investment professional becomes almost a part of the client's family, with their intimate understanding of the client's financial situation and goals. Only through superior interpersonal communication abilities is this deep relationship possible.

I highly recommend the insightful and relationship oriented book The Financial Professionals Guide to Communication: How to Strengthen Client Relationships and Build New Ones by Robert L. Finder, Jr., to any financial professionals who are seeking to improve their interpersonal communication skills to develop deep, long term relationships with their clients and their families. This must read book will ensure that the adviser communicates well, wisely, and with complete honesty.

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