When talking to clients we all know about open and closed questions.
It is a key brick of our training as IFAs to keep asking opening questions, and try not to let the spotlight move away from the client but giving them a series of closed questions. It obviously makes for a lighter conversation, but you need results, and open questions keep clients talking and guiding you to where they are comfortable.
How to "open up" clients:
What have you been thinking about lately?
What’s on your mind?
Tell me about a time when you changed your mind.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
What would you say to your 18-year-old self if you had a chat with them today?
Have you ever lost a friend?
Have you ever rejected a friend?
Do you work in a language that is not your mother tongue?
What is it like to live in translation?
If there is a choice between remembering and forgetting, do you lean towards the side of forgetting, or the side of the one who remembers it all?
Were you raised for autonomy, or were you raised for loyalty?
Was there a moment where you thought, ‘I’m giving up’ — and tell us whether you did or you didn’t?
What part of your identity was given to you, or what part of your identity was chosen?
You can't fake charm, but an interest in your client certainly helps.