Mukund Seshadri of MS Ventures takes us through four
vital inter-personal skills essential to be a good financial planner.
often hear people telling me that to be a financial planner you need technical
skills: to be able to compute present and future values of goals, understanding
personal cash flows, being able to compute income tax liabilities,
understanding portfolio allocation, projecting future cash flows, retirement
calculation etc. Personal financial planning, however, has a lot to do with
inter-personal skills. These skills help the planner to not only understand the
needs of the client well, but also ensure that he is able to come out with the
best solution for the client. Given below are a few skills essential to make a
radical difference in the success of the financial planning process.
Accurate Listening Skills
is one of the most crucial skills which, as a planner, one must imbibe.
Listening does not simply mean to comprehend what the client is trying to say,
but also perceive what he is not. At times, the goals and milestones set by a
client are based on assumptions that may not be logically valid. A planner’s
duty is to openly communicate in such situations.
urgency of the need must also be determined. Needs with a longer tenure must be
planned in time and not allotted a back seat. So, if a client deems a car as an
immediate need and retirement planning as one for later, planning for both must
communication is the ability to state opinions and feelings without any undue
anxiety. The success of a conversation depends a lot upon this. It helps drive
home the point without hurting the client’s emotions or feelings since, in the
end, it is aimed for the overall well-being of the client.
this context, negotiation does not relate to the fees charged but to convince
the client to gradually change his lifestyle so that s/he could achieve his/her
goals. Negotiations have to be realistic and practical after considering the
client's overall financial health. A course of action must then be decided
upon, one which appeals not just to the client, but also to his/her entire
Being a team player
financial planner works with a team of other professionals like general
insurance agents, lawyers, accountants and CAs etc. The planner has to ensure
that as a team, all of them offer diligent service for the complete well-being
of the client.
planning as a discipline deals majorly with finance, but assessing client
behavior and motives using your interpersonal skills can make a sea change in