The last words of the email stood out the most. “… the thing is … we are deaf.” This is how the prospective client closed her message to me in 2017.
When I agreed to meet with the woman and her husband, I was feeling uncertain about how to best communicate with them. To prepare, I added captions to my usual video presentation. But halfway through, I realized the couple was completely overwhelmed with the financial vocabulary I was using, which was entirely new to them. Improvising, I pulled up a blank Word document and started typing which allowed us to converse back and forth. I felt completely inadequate and regretted not preparing more, but did my best to connect with the couple.
To my surprise, the meeting concluded with the wife rejecting my handshake and instead grabbing onto me tightly as she began to cry. “Matthew, thank you for what you have done,” she said. “We have sat with five advisors, and none have come close to helping us like you have. I know we have missed out on financial opportunities because we are deaf.”