At the beginning of my Impact Investing journey, I was humbled and overwhelmed as I sat in meeting after meeting trying to learn as much as I could about the industry. With a passion for Impact Investing and a vision to go after, I realized that in order to get to a point where real change was going to be made, I needed to be able to ask what could be perceived as “silly” questions. What often happened was my questions were affirmed and spurred more dialog that allowed me to have a much deeper understanding. For most, the impact industry is unfamiliar and can be intimidating, especially when engaging with clients.
Over the years I have come to appreciate and respect those who make the effort to help their clients connect their capital and values. But how do you do this and where do you start? One of the best ways is being able to ask questions and seek to understand what your clients think and want. Truth be told, I understand asking questions and seeking answers from clients can seem daunting and even vulnerable – it’s human nature to be afraid of the unknown and potentially look silly, especially in front of a client. Despite this, I believe there is great power in having the ability to stop and listen, and ask questions.
Here is a list of questions to start you off that we have compiled with input from advisors across the country. Find a couple that work for you and have the courage to begin the conversation. I think you will find it to be a rewarding journey for you and your clients.
–Jeff Shafer, CEO & Co-founder