The emotional rationale here is quite simple. When you’re “telling” my limbic reaction is that you are also doing some “selling.” Conversely, when you’re engaged in genuine inquiry my limbic reaction shifts to the assumption that you’re looking to serve, or make a positive impact.

“Sellers” like to ask “set-up” questions where the answer is predictable and provides a handy segue to the product or proposal they planned on persuading the listener toward before they asked their so-called question.

We humans have an emotional radar in our brain that searches for this manner of communication and tells us to run when we sense it in action. Yet so many advisors are still married to their little scripts and playbooks, trying to transact as much business as possible in as little time as they can. And they wonder why finance still has so much distrust hanging over it!

Those of us whose motives are genuine need to distance ourselves from disingenuous conversational tactics. Make sure your discovery process is actually discovering something. Slow down your impulse to jump too quickly to your proposed solution. Hear clients and prospects out, understand them, build that bridge. The curious will want to know what you can do for them.