Financial Advisors

Making Behavioral Science Effortless in Workflow

When advisors and clients relate well and understand how to manage each other’s behavioral and communication differences, those solid foundations lead to repeat business and overall success.

Imagine heading to a meeting with a client and being able to use your smartwatch or other device to take a quick glance to remind yourself of their innate behaviors. Those revealed by the 10-minute assessment they took early in the advisory relationship.

You’d quickly refresh your knowledge of validated ways to best communicate with them. A smoother, more focused meeting. Perhaps quicker. And with improved outcomes.

Visualize knowing in advance, for instance, that this client values work-life balance and won’t budge from goals they have to support their lifestyle. Think about how important it would be to have access to client insights as you step out of the elevator and greet your client.

An insightful road map

Many of us can't recall our own natural behavior when we are under stress, never mind trying to recall that of our client. But a quick glance at discovery report highlights provides these prompts: 

  • You are motivated by out-of-the-box thinking and brainstorming. On the flip, your client who needs the big picture, action plans and logical key points.
  • You’re reminded to go into the meeting knowing how to manage the differences between you, including: Dial back your creative thinking and focus on the analytics and rationale, while remaining levelheaded.

The world of advice is changing rapidly. Think back over the past few months and consider how often you’ve found yourself acting more as a coach-mentor than a financial advisor. 

Robust info revealed in practical ways

Increasingly, and though they may use varying language to express it, advisors are inquiring how to foster this transition to coaching or mentoring. 

All acknowledge their clients are smart and have a pretty good handle on their wealth creation in stable times. But they recognize we’re all a bit more emotional and not as consistent in decision making during tumultuous times.

My guidance: Get to know your clients’ natural behavior. It won’t change over time, but under pressure some aspects of their financial personality might cause a “behavioral flip” – so named by behavioral insights guru Hugh Massie – and will need to be managed. (Behavioral flip: Demonstrating behavior that seems to run counter to everyday, no-stress or low-stress behaviors.) 

This is not some futuristic thought bubble; this behavioral insight is available now and can be used on any device via a simple integration. And that last point is one I get asked about a lot. Understandably, advisors are busy doing their core work and don’t need an add-on, for lack of a better term, if it’s not a quick and seamless process, including the time involved to get up to speed.

Leverage existing behavior data 

Being able to reference and be guided by robust financial behavior data creates curiosity as clients see how empowered they are as they fully understand their inherent decision-making and communication style. This revolutionizes the advisor-client relationship and puts you and your client on the cutting edge. 

Get an even better grasp on how to run a client meeting built on actual data and behavioral insight.

Understanding behavior satisfies know-your-client standards – without having to laboriously read piles of client bios – and ups the ante in terms of outcomes on all sides of the relationship.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Leon Morales

Leon Morales is Managing Director of DNA Behavior International, which pioneers behavioral finance insights for real results in real time, including an API solution for firms.

Read Leon's Bio