Disconnect (Sometimes) to Connect with Clients

Daniel Sieberg recommends face-to-face interactions to better connect with clients.

We lose an average of 2.1 hours a day to distractions, not really being able to hone in on what we’re trying to do. Much of that distraction comes thanks to our electronic gadgets and connectivity and information addictions.

Daniel Sieberg, head of media outreach of Google and author of The Digital Diet, said this is no good. We can’t be on our phones 24-7, have them interrupting our relationships—both personal and client relationships.

The speaker for Sunday’s general session gave a room full of financial planners tips on how to connect with clients in more personal and meaningful ways. He also noted that focusing on connection and doing one thing at a time is good for productivity.

Sieberg spoke highly of his own personal financial planner, who cautioned him that she might be more official via email than she is in person, and Sieberg noticed the difference. Over email, it wasn’t the planner he knows and loves, he said.

“I connect better with her, and probably get information better from her, when we have a conversation,” Sieberg said. Connecting face-to-face is something Sieberg, as a client himself, has found “incredibly valuable.”

“I would argue that when you have those opportunities to have those conversations and really click with people,” Sieberg said, “it’s so powerful.”

In addition to making time to forge an in-person, personal connection with your clients, versus just using your gadgets, Sieberg gave the following tips for maintaining a healthy relationship with technology that can keep your business productive.

  • Charge your smartphone somewhere other than the bedroom. Nothing is that important that it can’t wait the minute it takes to fetch your phone from its charging spot.
  • Have device-free meetings. Close the laptop, turn over your phone, and be engaged with your colleagues. Sieberg said people are more creative when they’re engaged.
  • Do the phone stack at restaurants. Gather everybody’s phone and put it in the center of the table, and whoever caves and checks their phone first must pick up the tab.

Sieberg doesn’t advocate for chucking technology altogether—the man does work for Google—he said to love it, just don’t love it unconditionally.

Be sure to attend the final general session on Monday afternoon.

What: Closing General Session - Social Media’s Impact on the Business & Practice of Financial Planning
When: 3:30 p.m., Monday September 22, 2014
Presented by: Jennifer Grazel, LinkedIn, and Jill Schlesinger, CFP®

Ana Trujillo
FPA publications team
Denver, CO

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