No Longer Awkward: Communicating with Clients through the Toughest Times of Life
“No Longer Awkward” is the definitive guidebook for professionals who want long-term relationships with their clients. Inevitably, those clients face divorce, aging, death, dementia, retirement, terminal illness, and other life changes. Yet professionals are never taught what to do and say to truly support them. And their clients will switch until they find someone who can. Avoid the well-intentioned mistakes most people make. Gain effective skills and protocols to guide clients through these tough times in ways that others can’t because they don’t know how. Find out what to write in condolence cards for different situations, what books to recommend, and what your clients wish you would do and say. Set yourself apart in ways that make a difference. Learn to do the right thing when your clients need it most, and you will also build life-time loyalty and referrals.
An icy road. A no-fault death. The driver of the other car wondering what, if anything, he could have done to avoid the accident. In the blink of an eye I was a 25-year old widow and single mother of a 7-month-old. I was surrounded by dozens, even hundreds, of well-intentioned people who had absolutely no idea what to say or how to act around me. Would you?
Though I did not know it at the time, John’s death prompted my lifelong mission of helping people heal from life’s crushing losses. It’s been a three-decade-long journey of education, facilitating support groups, teaching in university settings, grief coaching, and continual learning.
Immersing myself in grief, loss, and transition might seem depressing. It isn’t. I live a meaningful, fulfilling life. I am privileged to help people heal all over the country. I remove the discomfort and awkwardness and teach people to truly support others in their times of greatest need. I teach these skills with a generous dose of humor, and attendees come away inspired and hopeful.
It isn’t all about death either. Grief is triggered whenever there is a break in an attachment – whenever we have to leave behind someone, some thing, some role or function or dream, or anything else to which we are attached. Whenever we have to go on and learn how to live without it, we grieve. So even positive transitions like marriage, having a baby, or retirement trigger grief for what we lost even as we rejoice for what we gained. The principles of grief support that I teach allow you to accompany people through every one of life’s changes, good or bad.
Why is this important to business professionals? It seems like this is just basic human relationship skills, right? But clients expect more that good products and services. They increasingly gravitate toward professionals who understand them and who know what to do and say during all the transitions they encounter. For any business that wants long-term clients, this education is invaluable. It allows professionals to set themselves apart from the crowd in ways that matter. It increases client satisfaction, client loyalty, and the rate of referrals. In fact, as the client demographic increasingly ages, it may be one of the most critical factors in business success. Professionals who learn these skills can do the right thing for their clients, and that just happens to also be essential to building their business.
My dream is that someday grief and loss will not be taboo, that everyone will gain the skills I teach so we can compassionately and confidently companion each other though whatever life throws our way. Make your personal and professional world a better place. Whether through my book or my training classes, come join me.
Amy Florian, CEO of Corgenius, combines the best of neuroscience and psychology with a good dose of humor in training professionals to build strong relationships with clients through all the losses and transitions of life. An acclaimed speaker and expert, she is author of over 100 articles and the book “No Longer Awkward: Communicating with Clients through the Toughest Times of Life”. Amy is a former columnist for the Journal of Financial Planning who has been quoted or featured in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Advisor, Financial Planning, MSN Money, On Wall Street, ThinkAdvisor, Registered Rep, Investment News, Wealth Management, and Financial Advisor IQ. She holds a Master’s Degree and is a Fellow in Thanatology (the highest level of certification in the field of grief studies). Amy teaches a graduate class at Loyola University of Chicago, she has worked with over 2,000 grieving people, and she consults with firms, corporations, and individuals nationwide.