Kerry Johnson Gives Insight on How to Build Trust with Clients

We might not want somebody to be able to read our minds, but it could be a helpful tool for planners to have in their arsenal.

OK, perhaps you won’t be able to read your clients’ minds, but Kerry Johnson, the keynote speaker at the first Monday general session, said you can better connect with and predict the behavior of your clients by doing one simple thing: understanding their thinking style.

Doing so helps you “establish more rapport, more trust and connect more quickly,” said Johnson, who is known as “America’s business psychologist.”

Johnson explained that your clients’ thinking styles fall under one of the three categories: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Learning how your clients think will help you better connect with them, helping them to trust you, which is one of the most important things to them.

Clients who think in visuals create images in their mind to understand things. So when you have a client to whom you’re explaining things and they look up and to the right, they’re trying to picture what you’re saying, not zoning out.

Clients who are more auditory draw from what they heard to understand things. Those who think kinesthetically remember how they felt when they heard something.

“How many of you have had clients that have said, ‘I have no idea what you just said but it feels right,’” Johnson posed to the crowd. A hefty amount of hands went up.

The test to understand your clients’ thinking style is to ask them to picture their morning and have them describe it. If they describe more of what they saw, they’re a visual learner; more of what they heard, they’re auditory; and more of what they felt, than they’re kinesthetic thinkers.

Once you know their thinking style, you can learn how to communicate better with them. Johnson said only 35 percent of your clients will be visual learners, so if you cater your message to only visual learners you’re most likely going to lose business.

“If you only have a hammer, you’re going to treat the whole world like it’s a nail,” Johnson said.

To see more materials about Johnson’s business coaching business, click here.

Ana Trujillo
FPA publications team
Denver, CO

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