Communicating effectively with clients is easy. Just organize and explain your thoughts clearly — verbally or in writing — and clients will get the message. Well, maybe. Ellen Rogin, CPA, CFP, president of Strategic Financial Designs, Inc. in Northfield, Ill., recently had an experience with a long-term client that convinced her otherwise. She and the client had discussed several financial planning topics during a meeting. The client seemed satisfied with the conversation and Rogin assumed the session had gone well.
Several months later the client informed Rogin she had been very upset at the conclusion of that meeting because the client had heard Rogin ask her how long she expected to live. The client had recently recovered from a serious illness and the question shocked her, although she did not express her reaction at the time.
Recognizing client preferences