In this category you will find blog posts about clients relationship management – including but not limited to establishing trust, building a relationship, ending an advisor-client relationship, and more.

How to Create a Systematic Communications Strategy

How to Create a Systematic Communications Strategy

By now you should know the importance of staying engaged with your clients. Clients who feel less engaged are less likely to trust their advisor relationship and more likely to bolt when things go south, if not before. At a minimum, they will feel less inclined to recommend you to others. Suddenly, it’s as if you’re spinning desperately on a hamster wheel with little hope of getting off.

Most advisors would agree that having a systematic communications strategy is essential for adding and retaining clients. The challenge for many is how to go about it. The exact tools and methods an advisor would use could vary greatly depending on their communication preferences, prospecting methods, and available time and resources. Here are a few steps to get you started.

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5 Reasons Advisors Need a Well-Conceived, Systematic Communications Strategy

5 Reasons Advisors Need a Well-Conceived, Systematic Communications Strategy

Financial advisors are reaching a pivotal moment that will shape their future. An increasingly competitive landscape, fee compression, the commoditization of advice, and increasing client expectations make client satisfaction, retention, and referrals more essential than ever. As advisors struggle to differentiate themselves in a sea of sameness, I always reach back to the time-tested solution: good communication.

If you have been following my blog for a while, you’re familiar with my core belief that communication is vital to developing solid and enduring relationships. You simply can’t form trusted relationships without good communication.

Most clients don’t feel engaged with their Advisor

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Are You Prepared to Guide Your Clients Through Life-Changing Events?

Are You Prepared to Guide Your Clients Through Life-Changing Events

It’s going to happen. You can count on it. I’ve written in the past why it’s critical for advisors always to be prepared for ‘what ifs,’ particularly as it relates to a stock market crisis. That’s when your clients need you most. Having a plan of action to help your clients through difficult times is essential if you expect to maintain their trust and confidence. But what about other crises—the unexpected, life-changing kind that can engulf your clients personally, like a divorce or the death of a spouse or child. Are you prepared with a plan of action to help your clients through the most challenging times of their lives?

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Advisors Must be Able to Lead Clients Through Emotional Struggles

Advisors Must be Able to Lead Clients Through Emotional Struggles

Last year during the COVID market crash was a golden opportunity for financial advisors to demonstrate their true worth to anxious clients as a coach and a counselor. Your greatest value to your clients is being there for them during times of financial stress and anxiety. Good financial advisors are prepared to handle the fallout of a severe market decline, holding their clients’ hands, and coaching them through their anxieties.

However, few advisors are as prepared when it comes to facing their clients’ personal emotional issues that can cause even greater stress and anxiety, leading to poor financial decision-making. Life events, such as the death of a spouse or family member, divorce or family rifts, a medical crisis, a job loss, or other major life changes are common. Yet many advisors aren’t prepared to help their clients face the issue, or worse, are unable to recognize when a client is struggling emotionally.

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The Slippery Slope from Empathy to Role Reversal, and How to Avoid It

The Slippery Slope from Empathy to Role Reversal, and How to Avoid It

Successful financial advisors know that expressing empathy is critical in helping them to connect with clients and solidify their relationships. Clients need to know you understand their circumstances and what they may be going through at any given time. However, empathy taken too far can backfire when advisors find themselves sharing the same emotional distress as their clients, which can threaten their objectivity and compromise sound planning advice.

At the extreme, this can lead to advisors relinquishing control of the relationship to their clients and acquiescing to their desire “to fix the problem” in the short-term at the expense of their long-term plan. This type of role reversal is not uncommon for advisors who become emotionally vested in their clients, wanting to do what they can to ease their pain. Suddenly, the relationship is no longer being guided by rational, objective advice; but rather the behavioral impulses advisors are supposed to prevent, such as selling into a steep market decline, or abandoning the long-term strategy just to alleviate the immediate suffering.

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For Great Financial Advisors, the Profit is in the Relationship

For Great Financial Advisors, the Profit is in the Relationship

The industry pressures that have weighed on financial advisors over the last few years will continue into 2021 and beyond, especially with the lingering effects of the pandemic. Fee compression, increasing regulation, heightened competition, and the commoditization of services are all part of an inevitable trend that threatens the survivability of many advisors. From now on, advisors who fall short of clearly differentiating themselves will have a difficult time bucking the trend, and advisors who fail to put their entire focus on their client relationships may be doomed.

Unfortunately, many advisors learn too late in their careers what I have stressed numerous times—that this isn’t a money business. It is a people business! For the first several years of an advisor’s career, the focus is almost solely on acquiring product knowledge, investment expertise, and planning skills. While that is essential for building necessary competencies, too few advisors come to realize that money management is not the lifeblood of their business—their clients are.

For financial advisors, the profit is not in the financial analysis or the transactions they conduct; it’s in the relationship.

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5 Red Flags That Will Cause Your Prospects to Dismiss You

5 Red Flags That Will Cause Your Prospects to Dismiss You

You never see it coming, and you may never know the reason why. A prospective client you have carefully cultivated agrees to a meeting to learn more about how you can help them. It seems to go well. Their heads were nodding up and down, and they laughed at your joke. At the end of the 30-minute meeting, you suggest the next step with an offer to follow up with them. Turning toward the door, they reply, “We’ll let you know.”

You know that’s the end of it. So, you replay it in your head, asking, “What were the red flags that soured their perception of me?”

Whether the outcome of a prospect meeting is good or bad, you should always replay it in your mind. With a positive outcome, you need to know what worked and why. For a negative outcome, it’s vital to understand what didn’t work and why. Identifying the negatives is often more difficult because it’s hard to be self-critical. But that’s where the path to self-improvement begins. To help in your diagnosis, we list the five of the most common red flags that could cause your prospects to dismiss you.

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Three Challenges Advisors Face in the Post-Pandemic World

Three Challenges Advisors Face in the Post-Pandemic World

At the height of the COVID crisis, financial advisors were confronted with unthinkable challenges. All things considered, the industry has been resilient in the face of unprecedented headwinds. But, as the other side of this crisis begins to come into view, the industry faces a significant shift that will shape the way advisors operate long after the pandemic wanes. Advisors who get in front of that shift and adapt to the new paradigms quickly will not just survive; they will thrive.

If you could capture clients’ general mood today in one word, “anxiety” would probably say it best. In their hearts, minds, and souls, it’s a very different world from just a year ago and, as much as we all hope for a return to normal, there may be no going back for clients. Their perceptions and priorities have forever changed, much like they did during the 2008 financial meltdown. Only this time, it’s different because it involves both financial and health risks.

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Three Stories about Trust to Use with Prospects and Clients

Three Stories about Trust to Use with Prospects and Clients

The most fundamental principle of building a clientele is understanding that people do business with people they like and trust. While it’s easy for many advisors to be likable, trust has to be earned—quickly and often. As an advisor, you can never lose sight of that because trust not only binds a client to you but it also enables them to follow your guidance with confidence and conviction, which is critical to their long-term success.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know I believe in the power of storytelling to drive home concepts and change a client’s perspective. I offer these three stories about trust to you as an advisor to drive home the crucial role trust plays in your client relationships.

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