Widowhood - Loads of “Firsts”

executive coach financial services grief coach Jan 24, 2022
grief coach, financial services, executive coach

“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or what you did, they will remember how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

I’m reminded of the first office visit after my husband died.  Even though I had a great relationship with my advisor, I sat in the car feeling stuck, nervous and frightened.  Wanting to just drive away, I finally found a pinch of courage and went up the stairs.   Thankfully I was greeted at the door, offered something to drink and escorted to his office, which was a safe and inviting space.

I didn’t know what this discussion was going to entail because talking about money is hard enough.  Now we have to talk about money and death. I had a bazillion questions about my financial future, yet never voiced them.  The first meeting was about sharing space and talking about the beautiful, kind man that I had lost.  That is what I remember. 

We had financial paperwork and tasks to handle, yet it was underscored that first meeting.  The most important decisions, shared tasks and paperwork needed was emailed to me the following day. I left the meeting feeling supported, heard and valued!

 How do financial advisors create a successful first meeting with bereaved clients?

 Best practices:

  •  Create a safe, inclusive and inviting space to meet
    •  Ask them where they would like to meet
    •  Meet at their home, a public place, outdoors or your office
    •  Office space needs to be open, light with comfortable chairs and no desk/barrier separating the conversation
  •  Expectations
    •  The conversation will be emotional, be prepared for tears
    •  They will remember 10% of what you say
    •  90% of how you made them feel
  •  Communication
    •  Verbal communication is of empathy and care
    •  Written/email communication
      •  Summary of the meeting
      •  Actions or tasks needing attention
      •  Time and date of next meeting 


“You never get a second chance to make a ___________________ impression.”


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