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Tech Heads

12 June 2024

FINANCIAL PLANNERS Tech Heads are an interesting breed. 

They usually stand out like a Belisha beacon at your initial consultation. 

Picture this.  

You’ve delivered a knockout pitch about your Financial Planning service, highlighting how it encompasses all their assets, pensions, investments, and more, culminating in a financial plan designed to achieve the human outcomes they desire in their life and lifestyle. 

You’ve really hammered home the crucial point – that without understanding these human outcomes, you can’t effectively build a plan. 

But the Tech Head doesn’t want to hear that. Instead, they present you with a list of technical questions and homemade analysis spreadsheets. 

They’re like a mad scientist, poring over their analysis, convinced if they look harder, get more information, and do more calculations, the answers will magically appear.  

They won’t.  

This approach, while possibly effective in their technical careers, doesn’t work in Financial Planning, which requires a more holistic view that prioritises their human goals and only uses technical solutions as tools to achieve those goals. 

So, how do you handle a Tech Head? 

Firstly, you need to identify which species you’re dealing with. There are generally two types: 

The Tetris Head: This type is relatively harmless. They understand the concept of holistic Financial Planning but need a few technical details to align in their mind, like a Tetris game where the pieces just need to slot into place. 

They don’t really want to wallow in a technical swamp; they just don’t know there’s an alternative. Answer some of their questions but stay around the edges of the swamp and gently coax them towards the green pastures of humanness – they’ll follow! 

The Full-Fat Tech Head: These are more challenging. They firmly believe the solution lies entirely in technical details. They’ll bombard you with technical questions, expecting each answer to bring them closer to a resolution. 

Engaging in this cycle draws you deeper into an unending swamp of technical minutiae, taking you further away from the real answer, which lies in their heads and hearts.  

For the Full-Fat Tech Head, it’s crucial not to dive into their endless technical queries. They want you to wallow alongside them like a pair of technical hippos. 

Instead of answering the technical questions directly, pose questions like, “If I gave you the answer to that question, what would you do with it?” or “How would the answer help you make a decision?” 

If they can’t articulate what they’ll do with the answer, don’t provide it.  

This strategy shifts the conversation from technical details to more meaningful human outcomes. 

Often, Tech Heads have a partner who is more holistic in nature. The Tech Head has come along, probably excited at the thought of meeting a kindred technical spirit and has been looking forward to an afternoon of wrestling with technical detail. 

Likewise, their more holistic partner has probably been dreading the session, knowing they’ll have to sit there while their partner drones on about spreadsheets.  

Imagine their surprise when you show more interest in their vision of a great life and lifestyle for them and their family than you do in their partner’s spreadsheets. You have a new friend, and the meeting’s focus shifts away from the technical swamp. 

Whichever way you go, remember, when faced with a Tech Head firing technical questions at you, if they can’t tell you what they’d do with the answer – don’t give it to them. – Software, Training & Business Services for Financial Planners


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