Setting expectations is an important part of success in life, however most individuals fall short. One of the biggest mistake made by financial advisors, as well as most other salespeople, is not setting realistic expectations with their clients up front. Setting expectations in your personal and professional lives will reduce stress, conflict and failure. Most individuals will be happier and more flexible with you if you let them know what to expect in a given situation.

Many advisors have a process they use once they obtain a new client. However, many of them don’t set expectations as part of this process. People need to be told what to expect in the future so they are not blindsided with unexpected information. It’s just human nature to be alarmed or scared when hit with surprises. This probably goes back to our survival instincts thousands of years ago when surprises sometimes meant death. After all, if a Neanderthal man was unaware there were dangerous animals on the other side of a hill, he may not be prepared to defend himself. However, if he was better informed, he could come up with a plan to have dinner instead of being dinner.

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