The Efficacy of Life Planning Communication Tasks in Developing Successful Planner-Client Relationships

Anderson, Carol; Sharpe, Deanna L.
June 2008
Journal of Financial Planning;Jun2008, Vol. 21 Issue 6, p66
Academic Journal
• This article is an excerpt from Research: Communication Issues in Life Planning: Defining Key Factors in Developing Successful Planner-Client Relationships, a white paper recently published by FPA Press. The study is based on a survey of financial planners and their clients. • The research identified five communication tasks representative of a life planning approach that are directly related to higher levels of client trust and commitment in financial planning relationships. • Results also demonstrated statistically significant correlations with other important outcomes of planner-client relationships including client satisfaction, retention, and referrals. For example, clients who strongly agreed versus agreed with the statement "My financial planner used a systematic process to help me clarify my values and priorities" were 3.2 time more likely to strongly agree that they have no interest in transferring to a different planner. • Similar results were found for three other communication tasks: defining the scope of the engagement, identifying meaningful personal and financial goals, and explaining how financial advice aligns with client values and goals. • Results were more mixed, however regarding specific topics of qualitative data gathering. For example, client responses indicated a strong link between trust and commitment and a planner's efforts to learn about cultural expectations, personality types, and family history. In contrast, planner responses indicated that they do not recognize the value of exploring these areas.


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