How to Talk to Nervous Clients Who Have Lost Confidence

What’s the most productive way to talk to a client who may have lost confidence in the markets or your strategy?

On this episode of the becoming referable podcast we talk with two experts to help you navigate those conversations.

Peter Atwater is a researcher, speaker, writer, university professor, President of Financial Insyghts LLC, and an expert in the psychology of confidence. Specific to this episode, he is an expert on how your brain changes when you lose confidence. Everyone is familiar with the idea of overconfidence. On this episode we talk about under confidence.

Facing the loss of the components of confidence, a feeling of control and a belief in what the future will look like, the mind narrows, cognitive function declines, and we lose much of our capability for abstract thought. We limit ourselves to the issues of me, here, and now.

Atwater walks us through some of the brain’s response to under confidence and we spend most of our time talking about how to structure a conversation with a particularly anxious client. We talked about how the benefits of moving a little of a portfolio to cash, even if not in the best interest of long-term portfolio performance, can save a client from a catastrophic panic response of liquidating everything.

As a bonus on the end of this episode, we talk with Josh Patrick, advisor, coach, and previous guest on this podcast. Josh advises his own clients and coaches other financial advisors and walks us through a strategy he has found successful when working with nervous clients.

Related: The Right Way for Advisors to Reassure Clients