How Framing Impacts Your Financial Advisor Meetings

“When presented with the same conditions, framing impacts how individuals assess situations, infer judgments, and make decisions. When responsibly utilized, framing is a powerful, distinctive, and functional tool that financial advisers can effortlessly add to their advising toolbox.”Framing: Presenting Clients a Clearer Look Into Their Financial Window

Framing is an important part of financial discussions, but many financial advisors aren’t actively leveraging this tool to improve client outcomes. And, they might be missing the most important point—that framing happens long before the meeting ever starts. In this blog, we discuss what framing is, how it impacts your meetings, and why it is key to helping your clients achieve their financial goals.

What is Framing?

According to the above article, framing is defined as a mental exercise that simplifies decision-making and is highly dependent on how outcomes are presented. For example, when asked to decide between which products to purchase, consumers will more often select products that offer “buy one, get one free” instead of “50% off”. Even though the outcomes are the same, framing results in one offer being chosen more often because of how they are presented. However, framing doesn’t just impact decision-making between similar outcomes—it also can impact how a consumer decides to invest their money between disparate financial vehicles.

For example, a financial advisor may present multiple investment strategies in order to achieve a retirement goal. One lower-risk path may require a larger up-front investment and slower return overtime, while another higher-risk path requires a smaller up-front investment and higher return. Framing these choices is an important part of how a client will ultimately decide between the two strategies.

A Broader Definition of Framing

While framing at the time of decision-making is important, at Econiq, we argue that it starts even before your meeting begins. Framing is impacted by your marketing, including direct mail, email, flyers, billboards, tv, radio, and online ads. In traditional meeting settings, framing is impacted by office décor, desk setup, available food and drink, and even the chair in which your client sits.

For online meetings, details such as your video meeting waiting room or screen, background, login/waiting room experience, and meeting flow define the environment in which decision-making will occur. All these elements are processed by your clients and impact their trust in you, their risk tolerance, and even can change their long-term financial goals. So, framing decisions is very important, but you can’t forget about all the other inputs that can subconsciously affect your clients as well.

How to Improve Framing with Your Clients

Framing is subjective to each financial advisor and their firm. Some firms cater more to conservative individuals seeking low-risk, low-yield returns over a long period of time. Other firms market themselves to high-risk, high-growth individuals who are willing to bet big, and potentially lose big, in order to achieve a more aggressive goal like retiring early. Here are a few things to consider when building a framing strategy:

  • Is your online meeting wait screen a calming creek or a real-time stock ticker?
  • For your background screen, is it a pile of money or a warm, relaxing lounge?
  • How much time do you spend making small-talk vs. getting right to the point of the meeting?
  • How do you follow up a meeting? With a gift card? Tickets to a sporting event?
Getting Started

If you’re interested in learning more about how The Conversation Hub can help build positive framing with your clients, schedule a demo with us today.