FA Center: This one skill separates the best financial advisers from the rest

Ask financial advisers what they discuss with their clients and you’ll usually get a one-word answer: money.

Money of course can be a springboard for delving into all kinds of personal issues. But few advisers dig deep enough to learn how their clients really think and feel about money.

For Mitch Anthony, a professional speaker and trainer, what differentiates successful advisers is their ability to have revealing, substantive conversations with clients. Rather than just administer a risk-tolerance survey, the best advisers focus on getting a better sense of clients’ attitudes, hopes and fears about money.

“Business growth is the product of the dialogue you choose or not choose to have with your clients,” said Anthony, president of ROL Advisor in Rochester, Minn.

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