A few months back during Mets pregame, Bobby Valentine was interviewed while honoring the recently deceased Rusty Staub. Bobby V said that Rusty was the first person who ever told him; “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Rusty was telling Bobby V that while he was a highly skilled technical baseball coach, he needed to show the team that he actually CARED more about them.
When players know the coach genuinely cares about them and the team, they tend to be more receptive to the coach’s teachings.
Now, how do you show someone that you care about them?
- Ask questions about their well-being, personal life, goals, fears etc.
- Actively listen to their answers
- Unconditionally guide them toward where they want to go
Are we talking about baseball or the financial planning process?
The wisdom Staub imparted onto Bobby V lies at the very core of the financial planner-client relationship.
The financial planning process inherently creates a bond between planner and client (Steps 1-4). By going through discovery the planner gains an interest in wanting the client to succeed.
The hardest part of the financial planning process is the actual implementation and monitoring of the recommendations (Steps 5-6). This is where the planners have to let go a little bit. It’s mostly on the client to do this.
It can be frustrating for planners to see a client deviate from the plan. This is where it is critical for the client to know how much the planner cares. Maybe by giving the client a little more care and attention, the client will be more willing to follow the planner’s recommendations.
The finance industry is doing everything it can to drive emotion out. I agree it’s best to eliminate emotions from most decision making processes. But, I also believe the emotional connection between planner and client is a huge part of what makes financial planning so very valuable.