Relationship Building with Senior Clients

(2 minute read)

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance?

The number of senior clients in need of trusted financial professionals is larger than ever before in history, and naturally, growing with each passing year. By 2040, the number of Americans age 65 and older will double, while the number of those age 85 and older will quadruple. For financial professionals not experienced in working with older clients, helping these individuals may require adapting some habits or taking a new approach to client service. Here’s some tips about relationship building with senior clients in finance.

Start by Listening

As a trusted financial professional, you may already make a practice of listening first before providing advice to your clients. But listening to older clients isn’t just about the basic respect that listening represents. Aging affects the brain in many ways. While some elements of cognition get stronger with age, like verbal abilities and abstract reasoning, others get weaker. Tasks like dividing our attention between two activities at once, or holding facts in our working memory, can start to decline even in our thirties.

It’s important to remember that an older client isn’t taking a while to get to the point just for the fun of it, but rather because the way they think has changed in many ways since their youth. By listening to the information they share along the way to making a point, you can gain insight not only into their primary goals, but also the rationale and support for their viewpoint, which they may feel the need to explain first.

Speak Simply and Plainly

The next step to forming great relationships with senior clients is to speak to them on their level, and at the pace they can absorb information. If you use a lot of industry jargon, they might have a hard time following your meaning—in fact, this is probably true of clients at any age! And if an older client is paying you for your advice, make sure to give it to them straight.

When discussing strategies like a budget, retirement distribution schedule, taxes, or other financial details, go slowly through the math itself. If you can accompany your discussion with a visualization of the numbers they can walk away with, so much the better.

Proactively Empathize with Clients

While older individuals do appreciate direct communication, it doesn’t mean you should approach these relationships with a lack of empathy. As you listen to their stories or concerns, make sure to show interest, ask questions, and most of all, remember what they tell you. That might mean taking notes yourself, not just about their financial goals and situation, but their life experiences, anecdotes, family members, and more. Every person wants to feel appreciated and unique, especially as they age and may lose other social or community connections through retirement and personal losses. Showing them you value their experiences and perspective by remembering past conversations is one of the most affirming and empathetic things you can do.

Slow Down and Take Time

Ultimately, all this advice about working with senior clients boils down to being willing to take a little more time understanding and serving them. This means steps as practical as expecting your meeting to run a little long, or as personal as holding back on cutting them off so they can finish an anecdote. And that doesn’t just mean indulging them so they can finish talking and you can change the subject either! Ask follow up questions, show interest in what is on their mind, and be willing to take time with them as individuals. These are the steps of relationship-building from your side that will help the clients connect with you and extend their own empathy and respect in turn.

Building a relationship with senior clients means knowing enough about them and their circumstances to make financial recommendations that can improve their lives in particular. For many, this could include the option of a life settlement.

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance? Selling an unwanted life insurance policy is no different than selling your car, home or any other valuable asset that will create immediate cash. Contact us today to learn more.

Leo LaGrotte
Life Settlement Advisors
llagrotte@lsa-llc.com
1-888-849-0887

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