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Customize Your Presentations to Create a Personal Experience
• Chris Mauriello • May 2, 2023
As a financial professional, you have probably noted how different clients react to the presentation of their financial plans. Some may engage more when you’re just having a conversation. Or perhaps they like it when you show them charts and graphics while others like to have a physical interaction with the information you are presenting.
The reasons could come down to each client’s individual learning style. Personalized attention is crucial when it comes to creating and presenting a financial plan. And just as each client has unique goals, challenges, and preferences that require individualized attention, they are also unique in the way they like to receive and engage with their financial plan. Determining the learning style of your clients can reveal the best approach how to present a financial plan.
Determining A Client’s Learning Style
Assessing a client’s learning style is a crucial step in presenting a financial plan that matches their individual needs and preferences. Here are some methods you can use to assess a client’s learning style:
- Ask the client: The most direct way to assess a client’s learning style is to simply ask them. During the initial consultation or discovery meeting, you can ask them how they like to receive and process information.
- Observe the client’s behavior: Pay attention to your client’s behavior during meetings and conversations. If they frequently take notes or draw diagrams during discussions, they may be a visual learner. If they prefer to listen and ask questions, they may be an auditory learner. If they like to fidget or move around during meetings, they may be a kinesthetic learner.
- Use online assessments: There are many online assessments available that can help identify a client’s learning style. These assessments typically ask a series of questions and provide a result based on the responses. Some popular learning style assessments include the VARK questionnaire, Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles Questionnaire, and the Kolb Learning Style Inventory.
- Use a combination of methods: Assessing a client’s learning style is not an exact science, and it may be helpful to use a combination of methods to get a more accurate picture. For example, you could ask the client about their learning style, observe their behavior during meetings, and use an online assessment to confirm your findings.
By taking the time to assess a client’s learning style, you can tailor your financial plan presentation to their individual needs, maximizing the impact of your recommendations.
Building Learning Style into a Financial Plan Presentation
Presenting planning information in a meaningful way can help steer clients to the decisions that strike the optimal balance between their goals and constraints. Building a thoughtful and understandable presentation tailored to your client’s preferred learning style will continue to solidify the trust you’ve been building with clients.
You can lean on financial planning technology in this process to successfully engage any type of learner.
Visual learners prefer to process information through images, diagrams, and charts. They like to see the big picture and how the pieces fit together. Use color coding, arrows, and other visual cues to highlight key points and relationships. Make sure the font size and style are clear and easy to read. If presenting virtually, be sure to eliminate anything that is on your screen that doesn’t pertain to the client and their plan. Provide the client with access to their customized plan so they can refer back to it as needed.
Financial planning technology can be an excellent tool for presenting a financial plan to a visual learner. Use software that allows you to create interactive charts and graphs that the client can manipulate. Utilize tools that enable clients to visualize their progress and see the impact of their financial decisions.
Auditory learners prefer to process information through sound and speech. They like to hear explanations, examples, and stories. To present a financial plan to an auditory learner, use a conversational tone and explain each point in detail. Use analogies and metaphors to make complex concepts more relatable. Encourage the client to ask questions and provide feedback throughout the presentation. Consider providing an audio recording of the presentation or a transcript of the key points so the client can review it later.
Facilitate this process by using financial planning technology that incorporates voiceovers, video, and audio. Use software that allows for virtual meetings and video conferencing so the client can ask questions and receive feedback in real time.
Kinesthetic learners prefer to process information through physical sensations and movements. They like to touch, feel, and manipulate objects. To present a financial plan to a kinesthetic learner, use props, models, and interactive tools. Perhaps provide them with some homework to complete before the meeting so you can jump right into an activity—like determining financial priorities—right away.
If you are using a presentation tool that lets you pass control to the client, allow them to handle the props and manipulate the tools to get a better understanding of the plan. Use real-life examples and scenarios to make the plan more tangible. Encourage the client to take notes and make annotations on the plan.
From a financial planning technology perspective, use software that incorporates interactive tools and simulations that allow the client to manipulate financial scenarios and see the impact of their decisions on their own time. Provide them with access to online financial planning tools that allow them to track their progress and experiment with different financial strategies.
Most people have a combination of learning styles, which means they process information through multiple channels. Provide a variety of materials such as handouts, slides, and videos. Use various techniques such as storytelling, demonstration, and discussion.
When providing the information in multiple ways, pay attention to the client’s reaction that is signaling their cognitive load—their ability to absorb the information you are presenting.1 Adapt to the client’s preferences as you go along and be flexible in your approach.
To use financial planning technology when presenting to a multi-modal learner, use software that allows you to create multimedia presentations that combine visual, auditory, and kinesthetic elements. Provide the client with access to online financial planning tools that allow them to experiment with different financial scenarios and track their progress.
When efficiency demands it, you can lean on a multi-modal approach to ensure you are catering to the learning needs of all your clients. By using interactive charts and graphs, narrated presentations, simulations, and online financial planning tools, you’ll create a personalized financial plan presentation that meets the individual needs of each client.
Deliver a Personalized Financial Planning Experience
Creating the best plan for a client is critical to their financial success. But don’t underestimate the importance of how to present a financial plan to your clients.
Your choice of financial planning technology can streamline the process of personalizing financial plans, as well as ensure you are catering to each client’s unique needs.
DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.
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