As humans, from an early age we are trained to travel from point A to point B. From home to school, from school to work, from home to visit friends and family. We all travel our paths in search of the end result.

Following this line of logic, your clients don’t want stocks, bonds, mutual funds or ETFs. They want what these vehicles will do for them, their family and the causes they support. The way you create more value today for them is by better understanding what’s important to your clients now. After listening to their clients, the successful financial advisors I work with are able to present only those key benefits of a solution that are of real importance to their clients. This eliminates the clutter that occurs when too much information is presented and no decision can be reached on a course of action.

So how can you prioritize what’s most ┬áimportant to them. Here’s a simple question to ask your client to find out what they really want and care about. Ask them to fill in the blank. I will know that my life has mattered, really mattered, when I can ________. Once you get their response, encourage them to elaborate and discuss why this is important to them. Listen carefully to their explanation.

As Zig Ziglar said, “A compelling dream will generate the obedience to push past our fears.” For example, when I can provide a comfortable and worry free retirement. When I can provide a quality education for my children and maybe even my grandchildren. When I can provide the funds to charities I support that are making a real difference in our world. When I can provide travel for my family that will broaden my perspective and create life long memories.

It’s your job as a professional to see the future through your client’s eyes and to paint an accurate picture of what today’s actions will result in down the road. The future for your clients will come whether they plan for it or not. Will they have the future they want or the future that happens to them by default?

Experience in this business has taught me that a vital key to success is to help our clients discipline themselves to do what they need to do so that, at a later time in the future, they can do what they want to do. It is these decisions, not our current circumstances, that determine long-term quality of life. Much of that depends on you and how you frame and structure their solutions to their goals that matter most to them.