As a fee based financial planner this book has given me enormous help. It places the emphasis on the client relationship on questionning skills. Not the traditional "What are you worth and where is it stashed?" fact-finding style questions but deeper discovery questions around client life experiences, money memories, life goals, worries, values and so on.
In other words, all that a client has gone through in life to get where they are.
The author's contention is that, without knowing this background information, you will never really get to know your client in the fullest sense of the word. If this is so, how can your put together a strategy to help them going forward?
By asking the discovery questions outlined in the book you will know more about your clients than any of their other trusted advisers. You will have an empathetic relationship based around a client's values and beliefs and be in a position to help them acheive their life goals that much better.
And that is where the financial planning stuff and transactional underlying investments come to the fore. Yes, these are still very important but they come at the end of the discovery process.
Pick an existing client you really enjoy being with and ask some of the questions that are outlined in the book. I bet you'll learn things about them that you never knew. The better we know our clients, the better we can serve them and the better will be the relationship going forward.
Of course, this also has ramifications in terms of helping minimise communication breakdowns, future investment disappointments (where reality does not meet with expectations), client complaint letters etc. If you are a UK adviser you know how painful (both emotionally and financially!) a broken client relationship can be. This book should help you forge a really close understanding of your client and avoid these contentious issues.