4 Oct 2016
At the end of October, we will be in St. Katharine’s, Parmoor in Oxfordshire, coaching a new group of financial planners to think about their careers in a different way. The planners will come to the training with some idea of what to expect, although it’s unlikely they’ll be able to anticipate the difference just one week will make. But what they’ll learn at the EVOKE® Five-Day Life Planning training will revolutionize their client relationships in a profound way: they’ll learn how to listen.
Very often, financial planners and advisors are viewed by clients as fonts of information about various financial products. And often enough, planners take pride in knowing how the details about each product will affect their clients’ financial goals. But this traditional posture tends to treat money, rather than people, as central to the financial planning. Essentially, the money is the real client. Good performance is typically measured by portfolio growth, whether or not the growth supports the lifestyle desired by the client. Financial planning with EVOKE® turns this measurement of performance on its head.
EVOKE® is an acronym for the five-step client-centred interview process we teach. I designed EVOKE® to give planners a step-by-step method to help each client discover and live their life’s purpose, to cultivate and embody their deepest passion. Rather than focusing on picking a portfolio of products to deliver growth goals, EVOKE® focuses on developing the client’s Life Plan.
Financial Life Planning harmonizes the client’s finances and passionate purposes to deliver a life of freedom. It involves a complete coupling of a client’s vision of their ideal life with their finances, which requires an in-depth investigation into what would make up that ideal life—the values and passions that motivate them at the deepest level. This kind of Life Planning inevitably sparks a durable bond of trust between the client and the Life Planner, which has led us to adopt the motto, ‘clients for life’.
Exploration, Vision, Obstacles, Knowledge, Execution
The five steps of EVOKE® are Exploration, Vision, Obstacles, Knowledge and Execution. Here is how I explain them in my latest book, Life Planning for You, with a few extra notes for clarity.
Exploration: The getting-to-know-you phase with open-ended questions and wide-open exploration.
Vision: The inspirational meeting where clients find themselves on fire to accomplish their life’s purpose. Lighting the Torch (the title of my 2nd book) is what happens in the Vision meeting when the advisor defines exactly the vision by which the client longs to live. It is frequently articulated with such rich detail that the excitement is palpable, and a whole new level of vigor is accessed in the client’s life – an energy that with the support of a financial Life Plan, launches the client into the life they are meant to live.
Obstacles: The meeting where all the challenges and obstacles to our dreams are met head-on, and resolved methodically and with energy and vitality, one by one.
Knowledge: Where the Life Plan merges with a written financial plan, and demonstrates, step by step, how the client will accomplish their dreams.
Execution: Where we take action on each of the steps outlined in the plan until they are all accomplished, and the client is living their life of purpose.
I strongly believe that it’s impossible for planners to guide clients through the Life Planning process unless they are living their own Life Plans. Consequently, part of the EVOKE® training involves each attendee being Life Planned themselves. Through that process, the power of Life Planning is felt personally by every attendee. And, upon leaving, EVOKE® graduates are prepared to make profound differences in the lives of their clients, while simultaneously transforming their own careers dramatically for the better.
George Kinder, CFP®, RLP®, is the founder of the Kinder Institute of Life Planning and designer of trainings that are recognized world-wide as the standard for client-adviser relationship skills. He recently launched the robo-adviser, LifePlanningforYou.com.
The Kinder Institute’s EVOKE® Five-Day Training will be held October 30– November 4, 2016 at St. Katharine's, Parmoor, Frieth, Henley-on-Thames. Limited enrollment available at KinderInstitute.com.
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