How to Regain the Trust of a Client After a Disagreement

How to Regain the Trust of a Client After a Disagreement

Can you think of any relationship that has never experienced conflict—where two people with the best of intentions fail to see eye to eye on an issue? Such is the nature of relationships, even where there is a track record of trust. You expect it in a marriage and even among colleagues—so why not between a financial advisor and their client?

It happens more than you might think. Financial advisors are wired to be analytical, while clients are often driven by emotion, which sets the stage for many “reality vs. perception” standoffs.

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Why Mediation Skills Matter for Financial Advisor Success

Why Mediation Skills Matter for Financial Advisor Success

When most people think of mediation and negotiation, it typically refers to lawyers or third parties who facilitate dialogue between two or more parties to help them reach an agreement. In practice, financial advisors sometimes find themselves in the same position, having to resolve conflicts between a client’s family members or within their advisory team, where it’s essential to find win-win solutions.

Disagreements about money are common among married couples. Money conflicts are often rooted more deeply in people’s attitudes and beliefs about money, or, in some cases, money is not even the primary issue. However, in almost all cases, it involves two or more people who don’t know how to engage in productive financial conversations.

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Your Best Practices Checklist for Resolving Client Complaints

Your Best Practices Checklist for Resolving Client Complaints

Client complaints—it happens to the best of us. Some financial advisors go for years without receiving a client complaint. But it will happen, and when it does, it can seemingly come out of left field. Most client complaints are unexpected, which is why advisors must be able to quickly shift into rapid response gear or risk losing a client.

We’ve posted in the past about the importance of having a systematic communications strategy in developing solid, trusted, and enduring client relationships. As part of that strategy, advisors need a well-conceived, written process for responding to client complaints. The hope is that you will never need to use it, the same way pilots hope never to have to execute emergency landing procedures—but they know the procedure inside and out.

While losing a client’s trust is not nearly as consequential, it can be avoided, even strengthened, if you adhere to your own procedural checklist of best practices for effectively handling your next client complaint.

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5 Ways You Should Be Asking for Feedback from Clients

5 Ways You Should Be Asking for Feedback from Clients

Advisors who are in the dark about how their clients view their relationship or feel about the level of service they receive risk losing them to advisors who care about what they think. It’s not that you don’t care; it’s that your clients won’t know that you do if you don’t periodically ask them for their feedback.

Without direct and honest feedback from your clients, you won’t know what’s working and what’s not. You could be perpetuating a less-than-remarkable client experience that could drive clients away. At the very least, you won’t know the reasons why you’re not getting referrals from your clients.

Want to know how you differentiate yourself? Be the advisor who demonstrates a sense of partnership and commitment to the relationship by proactively asking for your client’s feedback. When you do, it’s an opportunity to learn how to improve and grow your practice and make your clients appreciate that you value their opinion.

Here are five ways you can gather valuable insights from your clients while deepening your engagement with them.

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Successful Selling Habits for Advisors Who Don’t Want to Sell

Successful Selling Habits for Advisors Who Don't Want to Sell

Many financial advisors resist the notion that they must be good at selling to be a successful advisor. Some go out of their way to distance themselves from the “salesperson” label. That’s fine because when you consider the totality of what quality financial advisors do, it doesn’t fit the traditional definition of “salesperson.” However, that doesn’t get around the fact that, regardless of their profession, for anyone to be successful, they must be able to sell.

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The Four Success Habits of Highly Successful Advisors

The Four Success Habits of Highly Successful Advisors

It has been said that habits determine 95% of a person’s behavior and are the most important determinant of the type of person you will become. That can be frighteningly ominous for financial advisors who spend little time focused on developing successful habits.

As financial advisors, we’re all searching for the secret to success—finding that edge that can move us effortlessly toward our ambitions. The challenge for many is that it is human nature to look for shortcuts in the pursuit of success.

However, in reality, it’s those who are able to find the motivation to develop successful habits that separate the ordinary from the exceptional—finding the will to take deliberate daily action consistently in pursuit of their goals. Successful advisors will tell you that it’s the practices we develop and master in their daily lives that empower them and propel them to their fullest potential for producing at an elite level.

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Advisors Who Don’t Want to Sound “Salesy” Need to Master Soft Skills

Advisors Who Don't Want to Sound Salesy Need to Master Soft Skills

Many financial advisors don’t like to be thought of as salespeople. In fact, they despise it. In part because they work hard at earning the distinction of being an “advisor.” Also, the public has been conditioned to avoid salespeople masquerading as financial advisors. But in reality, anyone in the business of building a clientele and offering services has to be able to sell.

To convert prospects into clients, advisors must sell themselves and then their solution. To make money, they must get their prospects and clients to act on their solution, which requires sales skills. Most advisors understand that, but their greatest fear is coming across as a salesperson or sounding too “salesy.”

If that is your fear, let me put your mind at ease. First, it’s important to understand what it means to be “salesy.” That term is generally applied to a high-pressure approach that makes prospects uncomfortable. People don’t want to deal with salespeople who are pushy and don’t listen to them.

That’s not you.

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How to Build Immediate Personal Connections Naturally

How to Build Immediate Personal Connections Naturally

Gaining the trust of a prospective client is an absolute must if the relationship is to amount to anything. Plain and simple, people don’t do business with financial advisors if they don’t trust them. Building that kind of trust can take time, but successful advisors know how to accelerate the process—by first establishing a connection, which can be done when first meeting with a prospect.

If you think back on all your relationships—personal and professional—you’re likely to find that your best and closest relationships started with an instant personal connection. Something just clicked between the two of you that allowed you to lower your guard and open up to one another.

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How to Command and Maintain Control over Conversations with Prospects and Clients

How to Command and Maintain Control over Conversations with Prospects and Clients

How often have you been in a meeting with a client or prospect and felt like you lost control of the conversation? After starting on one subject, the other person goes off on tangents or takes the conversation in a new direction. Clients who are upset may launch into a rant with no particular point or one that isn’t related to the work you do with them. Or they simply want to talk about something other than the subject matter you broached with them.

Whatever the reason, when a client or prospect conversation goes off the rails, it’s incumbent upon you to steer it back in the right direction. Otherwise, your value to that person diminishes as long as you’re not in control. Taking control doesn’t mean taking over the conversation and dominating the talking space. Instead, it means getting it back on track, on the path to where it can achieve a productive or desired outcome. That can’t happen if you’re doing all the talking.

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How to Tell When a Prospect Is Ready to Become a Client

How to Tell When a Prospect is Ready to Become a Client

In their interactions with prospects, financial advisors reach a critical juncture when they must determine when or if a prospect is ready to become a client. If they make the wrong determination, it will likely result in a missed opportunity. Trying to close prospects before they are ready can push them away, while waiting too long can cause them to lose interest.

Wouldn’t it be nice if, when they are ready to buy, prospects would just pipe up and say, “I’d like to get started?” Unfortunately, it rarely happens that way. Your prospects are just as apprehensive about making a buying decision as you are asking them to buy. Most people need to be held by the hand and reassured that they’re making the right decision. Some may need a stronger nudge. But in almost every instance, financial advisors must know when the time is right and take the appropriate action.

If you bring a prospect far enough along in the process, it means you’ve probably done a lot of things right—built rapport, discovered their pain, explained your process and how you bring value, etc. Then it becomes a dance. Like that girl or boy you’ve been staring at across the dance floor, they will provide clues or buying signals when they’re ready to be asked. Here are a few such signals or clues.

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