Filed Under:Agent Broker, Agency Management

How to talk with clients in crisis

Empathy goes a long way toward building a lasting connection

Pair honesty with empathy to navigate transactions with individuals who may be experiencing extreme stress, loss or sadness. (Photo: iStock)
Pair honesty with empathy to navigate transactions with individuals who may be experiencing extreme stress, loss or sadness. (Photo: iStock)

It’s not unusual for financial advisors, insurance agents and employee benefits specialists to confront clients in crisis.

Whether it’s an incident as routine as a job change or as life-altering as the loss of a loved one, each person’s response to stress is distinct. It may not matter how much time has transpired between your client meeting or call and that individual’s crisis. It may not even be their own event that spurs the transaction.

Family members, friends and acquaintances of someone in crisis also may experience secondary trauma symptoms, both emotional and physical, according to the Binghamton University Counseling Center.

Since financial relief is among the top solutions that may help ease people in crisis, here are four tips from trauma experts for talking to people in the throes of one:

  1. Empathy can go a long way toward building a personal connection. To that end, weave a measured degree of personal storytelling into your conversation.

  2. Practice supportive, non-judgmental listening.

  3. If the conversation becomes emotional, encourage your client to seek out support from trusted friends and family.

  4. Encourage your client to develop financial priorities, then present reasonable options for achieving them.

Crises and their aftermath can alter the way an individual thinks and feels. If you want to take a page from trauma experts, manage clients in crisis by combining honesty and empathy.

Related: 10 secrets to impoving customer service after a catastrophe

Originally published on LifeHealthPro. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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