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Why the Mode of Communication Matters for Advisors

True personalization means taking the time to understand your clients' preferred learning styles and communication preferences to lay the foundation for fruitful dialogue, genuine comprehension of your advice, and ultimately, sound decision-making and action by the client.

In the financial advisory space, it’s increasingly clear that effective communication is the key to success. It's not enough to simply deliver the best advice; it must be received in a way that can be understood (and then acted upon) by your clients. However, with various clients and prospects embracing different learning styles and communication preferences, finding the right mode of communication can be a challenge. Understanding these preferences and tailoring your approach is bound to make a significant impact on client engagement and overall satisfaction.

Enhancing Engagement Across Every Learning Style

Research has consistently shown a majority of Americans (around 65%) are visual learners. These individuals absorb and retain information best when presented with well-structured graphs, charts and visual aids. Visual learners thrive on data visualization because—as the saying goes—"a picture can say more than 1,000 words," and our brains can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Utilizing PowerPoint or PDF materials with compelling visuals can capture the attention of visual learners and make a lasting impression. When data is presented in a visually appealing and organized manner, it becomes easier for visual learners to grasp complex concepts and make informed decisions.

However, it's important to acknowledge not everyone enjoys looking at PowerPoint slides. Around 30% of individuals are audio learners who thrive through conversations and dialogue. For these individuals, having a meaningful discussion can be far more impactful than any visual aid. By providing clear and concise talking points during meetings, you can effectively engage audio learners and ensure your message resonates with them.

Another group of clients prefers crisp email messages as their preferred mode of communication. These individuals are often busy and constantly on the go, appreciating the convenience and flexibility that email provides. By sending well-crafted emails that effectively communicate your message, you cater to their communication preferences and enhance their overall experience. Keeping emails concise and to the point, utilizing bullet points or numbered lists, and providing relevant attachments can make a significant difference in their engagement and response levels.

Decoding Clues Regarding Clients' Preferred Learning Styles

How do you determine the preferred learning style and mode of communication for your clients and prospects? Look for cues in their language and responses. If your clients frequently say things like "I see" or make references to visual elements, it is likely that they are visual learners. On the other hand, if they often respond with phrases like "I hear you" or emphasize the importance of listening, it may indicate an audio bias. Paying attention to these cues can help you tailor your communication approach and correspondingly improve your clients' understanding and engagement.

Another way to identify preferred learning styles is through feedback and engagement. Observe how your clients respond to different types of communication. Do they ask for more visual explanations or request further clarification through conversation? Are they more engaged and participatory during certain communication modes? By gauging their feedback and attentiveness, you can gain insights into their preferred learning style and adapt your approach accordingly.

Remember, while these cues can provide valuable insights, it's important not to make assumptions or rely solely on one method of communication. Each client is unique, and preferences may vary by context. Regularly seeking feedback, engaging in open conversations, and monitoring their responses will help refine your understanding of their preferred learning styles and communication modes.

Elevating Client Engagement Through Tailored Communication

To truly elevate client engagement, it is crucial to reach out on the right topics, at the right time and in the right way. It's not just about reaching out randomly; it's about pinpointing the specific topics, timing, and communication methods that resonate with each client. That is true personalization. Taking the time to understand your clients' preferred learning styles and communication preferences lays the foundation for fruitful dialogue, genuine comprehension of your advice, and ultimately, sound decision-making and action by the client. 

In conclusion, being heard as a financial advisor goes beyond the mere delivery of advice. It requires an understanding of the diverse learning styles and communication preferences of your clients and prospects. By incorporating visual aids for visual learners, engaging in meaningful conversations with audio learners, and utilizing concise emails for those on the go, you can establish stronger connections and enhance the overall client experience. Remember, being truly understood is the foundation for good dialogue and sound decision-making, leading to mutually beneficial outcomes for both you and your clients. By recognizing and adapting to the different modes of communication, financial advisors can build deeper, more impactful relationships and better serve their clients' needs.

Philipp Hecker is CEO of Bento Engine

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