I have a client that is a financial planner. He is very comfortable and relaxed with me but tense with his clients and he said that the reason for this is that he knows me, because we have been working together for two years.
I drew the first diagram seen here and asked if going from 'not knowing the client' to 'knowing the client' would positively affect his comfort levels. He agreed.
I drew the second diagram and asked whether getting to know the client over a shorter period of time would increase the speed at which his comfort level grew, to which he agreed. The next question was around how to do that.
There is a definite and obvious parallel between coaching and financial planning... both ask a bunch of questions and both serve to take their clients from where they are to where they want to be.
The answer to the question therefore borrows from coaching and applies to financial planning (or any other sales/service industry): Powerful Questions.
How else could one get to 'know' the client quicker than through asking questions about that client? And as the knowledge increases, so will the comfort level.