When I was a Financial Advisor, process ruled. After meeting a new client and exchanging the typical introductory small talk about sports, children, or current events, we would start to discuss why they came to see me. Sometimes I had called them first and they wanted to gauge my value, but more often they had come to me for specific help or guidance. Regardless of how they ended up in my office, I always asked the same initial questions to understand their current situation and what they wanted to accomplish. Of all the questions, one was most important:
“What specifically are you looking to accomplish?”
This question often set the tone for the meeting and gave me a lot of insight into the type of individual and investor I had in my office. More often than not, I had to repeat the question or rephrase it to get at what I really wanted to know which was “Do you, Mr. or Ms. Client, have any idea of what you actually want?”
The reason this was so important is that specifics matter. If you want to accomplish something you have to define it, understand it, investigate it, and pick it apart to its deepest level. If you don’t know what you want, you will never get it and in my role as an advisor, I didn’t need clients waffling on their goals, only to end up frustrating us both in the end.