How to Convince Someone to Trust You
Whether you’re a new or well-established advisor you may find it difficult to establish trust. It’s incredibly difficult to develop trust quickly. How can people know whether you’re honest, sincere and trustworthy when they first meet you? And people today tend to suffer from an inherent lack of trust. Their belief systems about investing have been shattered by a seemingly endless stream of bad news.
Occasionally it can be possible to build trust in a short period of time. For example some people just have especially trusting natures. And if you work for a well-known firm it can be easier to establish trust with certain clients. Referrals are a great basis for trust and people may spontaneously put their trust in you due to serendipity; maybe someone wants to open an account that day – and you happen to be in the right place at the right time.
You have to earn trust – and this takes time
However establishing trust early on is not the norm. In the majority of cases people will be hesitant to do business with you until they trust you. Research indicates that people are three times more likely to trust you once they know you.
Trust needs to be earned. Clients need to believe in you. They need to believe that you will do what you say you will do. Like a family doctor you will be playing a big part in your clients’ lives, so be sincere, be friendly, and be totally up front with them. They don’t need you to have a PhD in economics, they need to feel you are the best person to look after their interests.
You need to convince them you will be there to prevent them from getting into financial difficulties. Your role is to keep clients on the right path. Just like the family doctor, you’re there to prevent rather than untangle dilemmas.
Over time your clients will come to trust if you make it perfectly clear that you understand their hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears and doubts. They will come to the conclusion that you are not going to take advantage of them, and you are not going to let them down.
Always do what you say you will do
If establishing trust doesn’t come easy to you, remember this one thing: Always keep your word. Excuses and trust are mutually exclusive especially when it comes to money. Don’t ever tell lies, and don’t use ‘caring’ as a shallow marketing technique. Feel it.
Relationships based on real trust are few and far between. All it takes is one slip – if you don’t call when you say you will, that trust can be destroyed in an instant. It takes a long time to build up trust and just a split second to break it down.
How to reaffirm the trust
The recent uncertain economic conditions have likely tested your clients’ trust to the nth degree, so how do you go about reaffirming the trust?
Think back to when they first opened the account with you. It wasn’t because of your in-depth knowledge about portfolio modeling and asset allocation. They liked and trusted you. That’s why you’re here today, and that’s still the case whatever the markets have done since then.
Before you reaffirm your clients’ trust in you, take stock of your own belief systems. Ask yourself whether you still believe in the stock market. Do you feel it’s still the best place for your client’s money? Do you believe that equities are still a safe way to accomplish financial goals?
If you do, then show it with real belief and passion. Choose to be optimistic to awaken or re-awaken your client’s optimism and reaffirm the trust. Make them feel enthusiastic about the future. Don’t allow them to be too swayed by adverse media opinion.
Naturally markets will go down but they will also go up. Keep clients fixated on the long term. Re-examine their approach to risk and remind them that they hired you to worry about their money – you are the one who should be losing sleep so they don’t have to.
When it comes to building and maintaining trust be a counsellor to your clients.
Don’t be erratic. Be attentive. Call too much rather than too little. Let clients know you are on top of things. And most of all, don’t make it a mistake to trust you.
If you need help with managing your relationships with clients, watch the video below:
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