Get emotional if you want to grow your business

Brendan Frazier

Learn about the “Human Side of Money” from Brendan Frazier

Money is an emotionally charged topic.


Unfortunately, many wealth managers are unprepared to handle the interpersonal aspect of the industry, choosing to focus their attention on dollars and cents and overlooking their clients’ life histories, influences, motivations, values, dreams, and purposes.

Doing so, comes at a cost, according to Brendan Frazier, an expert in the psychology of wealth management. Frazier is founder of Wired Planning and creator of “The Human Side of Money” podcast.

Frazier told Cheetah that creating an emotional connection to your clients is more important now than it ever has been if you want to grow your business.  

Why is an emotional connection so important?

Brendan: There’s research that shows that when you have emotionally connected clients, they pay more, they don’t balk at costs, they refer people to you, and they do the things that you want them to do.

And then from a financial perspective—there’s research on this too—emotionally connected clients are more likely to bring all their assets under one roof.

But the key part to this concept is that you must create emotionally connected clients, not just merely satisfied clients. There’s a difference between having a merely satisfied client and an emotionally connected client. And, ultimately, the question I will answer at the Hunt is “What is the difference between those two?”

So much of what wealth managers do consists of what we think of as left-brain functions, like math and analytics and logic. Does creating emotional connections come naturally for that type of person?

Brendan: You’re always going to have some people who are naturally gifted. And they may not even know exactly how they do it. But the majority of us need a better understanding and a framework to make it happen consistently. I’ve never met anyone who just flawlessly executes the emotional connection element of our business 100 percent of the time.

When you think about the industry, our trainings and designations and certifications are almost always dedicated to technical proficiency. It’s kind of like, “Oh, I hope that human and emotional element comes naturally.” But it doesn’t always.

I feel emotionally connected to my advisor. Are you saying this is not a normal experience?

Brendan: No. It’s not. But there’s this slowly increasing focus that when you deal with people, it has to be about more than money. Instead of thinking only about “How do we maximize your net worth?” we also need to be thinking about “How do we maximize your life?” It doesn’t mean you should disregard one and focus on another. The two can hang out together. They both exist at the same time.

You want your client to say, “This person understands me.” You’d be amazed because it doesn’t happen very often.

Why is this a topical issue right now?

Brendan: We’ve got technology proliferating and accelerating at a rate that we’ve never seen before, and it’s about to start doing those things faster, cheaper, and more reliably than a human can. So, we need to start thinking about shifting our eggs and putting them in a different basket. That way you can insulate your value from technology and remain relevant to clients.

Great. Now how do you do it?

Brendan: First, you must understand what factors, events, and dreams in someone’s life are driving them emotionally.

The second thing, more practically speaking, is to create a personal connection to your clients. When you’re an advisor, you have the advantage of working face-to-face with clients. You have the ability to create a personal relationship.

Finally, you must create an emotional connection between your clients and their money. Or, more accurately, the purpose of their money and their wealth. Really figure out why money is important to them and show them how they can use it in a way that is motivating and maximizes the life they want to live.


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