If you make enough of an effort to connect with a client, you’ll become a core part of his support network.

That’s why the first year with clients should be intense, says Kelly Pather, CFP, a financial planner at Assante Financial Management in Vancouver. During that period, ask lots of questions to determine the best way for you to work together (see “Questions to use”).

Also, share stories that highlight your personality, background and expertise. If you’re candid, clients will be more comfortable and honest (see “Get connected”).

But if a person’s timid, you may have to ask why several times, notes Tom McCullough, CEO of Northwood Family Office in Toronto. It can take time to get him to open up, but once he does, he can let go of any fears he may have.

After the first year, focus on deepening the relationship. Get to know clients better by providing educational workshops on markets or products, for example.

You can also show you care if you know what’s going on in someone’s life. For instance, Todd Peters — a Winnipeg-based CFP with IPC Investment Corporation — offered to speak to a client’s son who was moving in with his girlfriend, and gave tips on co-habitation agreements and paying bills jointly.


Questions from a professional interviewer


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