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The Admired Advisor Podcast

Jan 18, 2021

In this episode, Steve talks with Ray Olson, the President and owner of Ray Olson Family Financial Planning in Richmond, Virginia. 

Ray, a self-described “recovering CPA”, leans heavily into his client’s inquisitive nature. He pushes them to question the “how” and “why” of his firm’s financial planning advice. 

Stepping into his father’s business, Ray transformed it from a product-based firm to a full-service wealth management firm. His father taught him how to approach client discovery: ask simple questions and let the client talk. Listening and learning all you can about your clients before you ever talk about finances is a technique that Ray has passed to his employees. 

Ray talks with Steve about why it's important to make sure your client relationships are mutually inquisitive, the steps and experiences that create a warm client culture, and how their focus on improving client experience has led to a 100 percent referral-based business.

“I'm not sitting behind a desk asking a bunch of questions. We're sitting down, almost like in your living room,  and I go, ‘So tell me what's important?’ And they've got something to drink to help them relax and be comfortable. Some people aren't going to be comfortable and it's hard to talk about it. But I think I'm pretty good at trying to help relax people because I can talk to them naturally. It's just kind of an instinct.” ~ @RayOlsonLLC

Main Takeaways 

  • A client’s behavior is the biggest threat to their financial plan. That’s why it’s critical for financial planners to understand human behavior and to apply those learnings to how they manage their clients.
  • Client education leads to more active engagement in their financial decision making. If you can get clients to ask questions and engage with you, they’re going to be more satisfied with the service you provide. 
  • The family unit has to be fully engaged for a financial plan to truly work as intended. The more buy-in you have from the entire family, the better the outcomes.
  • For clients to share meaningful insights, they have to feel comfortable. It’s the advisor’s job to create an environment that invites and fosters that feeling of comfort and trust. 

Links and Important Mentions

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