Widowhood - Loads of “Firsts”Jan 24, 2022
“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?
- 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
- The conversation will be emotional, be prepared for tears
- They will remember 10% of what you say
- 90% of how you made them feel
- 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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