5 Things You Should Do to Successfully Manage Your Relationships with Clients
What your clients do this year and going forward will not be dictated by world events alone. It will be dictated by the strength of their relationship with you. That’s why you need to make relationship building one of your top priorities.
Here are five ways to keep your relationship on a firm footing.
1. Avoid the trap of role reversal
Even when you know your role is to be strong for your clients there will be times when your resolve weakens. You know that your clients need to continue with their investment journey during market downturns, but you can’t help but feel bad for them when they see their assets tumble.
Maybe you even know your clients in an informal setting – perhaps you bump into them at the golf club or at church, bringing their situation even closer to home.
If you want to manage your relationship you must remember that, no matter how much empathy you feel, you need to keep their overall financial goals uppermost in your mind. If you start wavering, you will see the balance of control shift from you to the client.
You know ditching the plan is the wrong move. Period.
You are not paid to manage returns – you are paid to manage the expectations of your clients. Don’t get caught up in a role reversal. Keep the faith and continue to lead so that they will follow.
2. Be persuasive
It’s your job to regulate your clients’ behaviors. So be a gentle bully. If you don’t, your clients will one day lament that they didn’t do the right thing. For example, they may say they want to wait until things get better before acting. Tell them there is no such thing as the perfect time to invest, there will always be conflicting requirements on their money.
Press home the point that the one biggest mistake they could make is to put off investing for their future. The second biggest mistake is not going all the way.
The problem is that, for many people, future events look like a lifetime away – for example, funding their three-year old’s college fees or making sure they enjoy a comfortable retirement.
Get across to them that this isn’t the case – in fact a forty-five year old person who gets paid once a month and wants to retire at age sixty-five only has 240 pay checks left before he or she stops working.. Be assertive in what you say. Be politely persistent.
3. Develop your listening skills.
The depth of your relationship with a client is directly related to how well you know them – and the only way you are going to get to know them is to listen to them.
It’s impossible to listen to someone while you are talking, so talk less than you listen Listening skills are just as important as verbal and presentations skills, so don’t assume you’re good at listening. We all need lots of practice.
And before you make any investment decisions on behalf of a client, make sure you know what makes them tick. If you don’t, you may end up with a plan that makes both of you sleepless at night.
4. Care more than people expect you to care
Simply doing your job won’t get you a 10 out of 10. Achieving your clients’ financial goals is simply part of your job. When you dine out and the food is great but the service is lousy you wouldn’t recommend the restaurant. Every Advisor is expected to deliver value.
If you want to become an elite advisor and earn referrals you need to care more than your clients expect you to care. Be a cut above and treat your clients like VIPs. Become a trusted friend and be there for them on all levels. Don’t be like the other advisors who use caring as a shallow marketing technique.
5. Keep it simple
When the world appears to be spiraling out of control the best way to restore balance is to keep things simple. Be calm, self-assured, ignore the white noise and make yourself a beacon of anti-stress for your clients when times are tough.
The job of a financial advisor is all about creating relationships that last. So, take the lead, have confidence in what you say, listen attentively and you will establish yourself as a positive influence in your clients’ lives.
If you need help improving your relationship building and managing skills, see how Don Connelly 24/7 can help.
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