Conversation takes a turn for the worse if you have an opinion that your client has no idea how to solve their problem(s) and all they need to do is listen to your solution.
And you may be right in your interpretation of the facts, but will the client appreciate your apparent unwillingness to listen?
If AI systems ever crack this particular nut and develop the ability to listen, empathise and then advise, human advisors will quickly find themselves out of a job.
Being interested in your clients’ problems is different to knowing what they need to do to solve the problem. For instance, how is the problem impacting their stress levels, their family life. Have they been so worn down by their issues that their GP has prescribed anti-depressants?
Sometimes, we need to be heard, and communicating how we feel is as important as having the underlying problem solved.
As a bonus, if you are interested in your clients, they will return – and willingly – to share their difficulties and seek out your advice knowing that you really understand how they feel.
A simple process to exercise your empathic muscles is to ask open questions. It may take no more than a “How are you?” to create additional advisory fee billing opportunities.