You spend your days emotionally crippling your clients by explaining just how fucked they are from a retirement standpoint, and that’s great. That’s what the finance Gods put you on this earth to do and you’re fulfilling your purpose. But the fact is you’re only scratching the surface.
Like Jazz, personal financial planning is about the notes you don’t play. The parts you leave out, but still communicate via meticulously honed facial expressions that serve to thoroughly destroy and last bit of hope or optimism your clients might have foolishly walked in with.
1 – Contempt
The classics never go out of style. Your dad had this one nailed, so you become intimately aware of it every time you did literally anything. It’s practically hard-coded into your epigenetics. Well now that you’re a financial advisor, it’s time to dust off this old chestnut because you’ll be using it a lot. And trust me when I say nothing will make your clients regress emotionally like trusty ol’ contempt.
2 – Fake Pity
Look, you’re not a monster, right? Of course not. At least not in the technical sense. So how do you make your clients think you care while still having them leave with an unshakeable feeling of gaslighting? Two words, my dude, “fake pity.” With fake pity in your back pocket the next time your client says something idiotic like, “I save about 10% every month, at what age can I expect to retire,” don’t just verbally dash their hopes. Instead leave it with a simple, “well let’s take a look” while giving them an expression that makes it seem like you care, but also screams, “you poor pathetic son of a bitch, start selling your plasma now.”
3 – The Dubious Dentist
We’ve all been there, you’re in the dentist’s office, lying supine and nearly drowning from the constant stream of water while he stabs you in the gums with a metal spike. It is at that moment that he asks with just a hint of judgement in this tone, “so, how often are we flossing?” Miraculously you manage to mumble back, “every day”, to which he responds with, “hm, you sure? Ok.” That’s it, that’s all he needs. Five syllables to effortlessly communicate “you filthy liar! You don’t floss!” Now I want you to take that same smug self assurance and channel it, so the next time they say they’re balancing their budget monthly, all you need to do is say “hm, you sure? Ok.”
4 – Shruggie ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So you’ve come to the end of the session with your client. You’ve crippled them with fear and dashed any expectations of not working straight to the grave, and now all they’re left with is just to meekly ask, “so what do I do now?” This is the perfect opportunity to have them leave thoroughly confused. Unlike the other non-verbal communication we’ve covered, this requires your entire upper body – arm, shoulders, delts, and traps in addition to your head and face. An exaggerated shrug followed by a head tilt and capped off with a pursed lip is the coup de’ grace in their already disappointing experience.
5 – Shit Eating Grin
Because you’re too dead inside to produce a genuine smile.