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Communication Essentials for Financial Planners

Book Description

Exploring the Human Element of Financial Planning

Communication Essentials for Financial Planners tackles the counseling side of practice to help financial planners build more productive client relationships. CFP Board’s third book and first in the Financial Planning Series, Communication Essentials will help you learn how to relate to clients on a more fundamental level, and go beyond "hearing" their words to really listen and ultimately respond to what they're saying. Expert coverage of body language, active listening, linguistic signals, and more, all based upon academic theory. There is also an accompanied set of videos that showcase both good and bad communication and counseling within a financial planning context. By merging written and experiential learning supplemented by practice assignments, this book provides an ideal resource for any client-facing financial professional as well as any student on their pathway to CFP® certification. 

Counseling is a central part of a financial planner's practice, and attention to interpersonal communication goes a long way toward progressing in the field; this guide provides practical instruction on the proven techniques that make a good financial planner great. 

  • Build client relationships based on honesty and trust
  • Learn to read body language and the words not spoken
  • Master the art of active listening to help your clients feel heard
  • Tailor your communications to suit the individual client's needs

The modern financial planning practice is more than just mathematics and statistical analysis—at its heart, it is based on trust, communication, and commitment. While interpersonal skills have always been a critical ingredient for success, only recently has this aspect been given the weight it deserves with its incorporation into the certification process. Communication Essentials for Financial Planners provides gold-standard guidance for certification and beyond.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. How to Use This Book
  4. Introduction
  5. Chapter 1 An Introduction to Applied Communication
    1. Introduction
    2. Financial Planning Outcomes
    3. Communication Defined
    4. The Theory of Communication
    5. The Importance of Feedback
    6. Conclusion
    7. Summary
    8. Chapter Applications
    9. Notes
  6. Chapter 2 Structuring the Process of Interpersonal Communication
    1. Introduction
    2. Social Penetration Theory
    3. Orientation
    4. Exploration
    5. Affective Exchange
    6. Stable Exchange
    7. Relationship Benefits and Costs
    8. Accounting for Stress
    9. Building Client Trust: An Appreciative Inquiry Example
    10. Summary
    11. Chapter Applications
    12. Notes
  7. Chapter 3 Structuring the Process of Communication through the Office Environment
    1. Introduction
    2. Identifying Target Clientele
    3. Understanding the Office Environment
    4. Stress and Communication: Bringing the Pieces Together
    5. Summary
    6. Chapter Applications
    7. Notes
  8. Chapter 4 Listening Skills
    1. Paying Attention to the Client
    2. Attending to What Is Said
    3. Interpreting What Is Heard
    4. Transference and Countertransference
    5. Passive Versus Active Listening and Responding
    6. Silence: A Stressful Time for Client and Financial Planner
    7. Responding to “I Don’t Know”
    8. Summary
    9. Chapter Applications
    10. Notes
  9. Chapter 5 Questioning
    1. Introduction
    2. Open-Ended Questions
    3. Closed-Ended Questions
    4. Choosing Between Open and Closed-Ended Questions
    5. Question Transformations
    6. Swing Questions
    7. Implied and Projective Questions
    8. Scaling Questions
    9. Summary
    10. Chapter Applications
    11. Notes
  10. Chapter 6 Nondirective Communication
    1. Why Nondirective Communication?
    2. Outcomes Associated with Nondirective Communication
    3. Clarification
    4. Summarization
    5. Reflection
    6. Paraphrasing
    7. Styles of Paraphrasing
    8. Summary
    9. Chapter Applications
    10. Notes
  11. Chapter 7 Directive Communication
    1. Direction: The Essence of Financial Planning
    2. Interpretation
    3. Reframing
    4. Explanation
    5. Advice
    6. Suggestion
    7. Urging
    8. Confrontation
    9. Ultimatum
    10. Summary
    11. Chapter Applications
    12. Notes
  12. Chapter 8 Trust, Culture, and Communication Taboos
    1. Understanding a Client’s Cultural Attributes
    2. Interpersonal Preference
    3. Risk Management
    4. Culture and Trust
    5. Communication Taboos
    6. A Cultural Example
    7. Summary
    8. Chapter Applications
    9. Notes
  13. Chapter 9 Politeness and Sensitivity in Communicating with a Broad Range of Clients
    1. The Power of Language
    2. Politeness
    3. Politeness Through Inclusion Versus Exclusion
    4. Sensitivity
    5. Language Sensitivity
    6. Summary
    7. Chapter Applications
    8. Notes
  14. Chapter 10 Financial Planning—A Sales Perspective
    1. Sales Models
    2. The Challenger Model
    3. The Consultative Model
    4. Manipulation Versus Persuasion
    5. Consultative Selling and Compensation
    6. Understanding Client Behavior
    7. Dealing with “No”
    8. The Ethics of Selling
    9. Summary
    10. Chapter Applications
    11. Notes
  15. Solutions
  16. About the Authors
  17. About the Companion Website
  18. Index
  19. EULA