How to Provide the Level of Service Clients Will Talk About

How to Provide the Level of Service Your Clients Will Talk About

By now, financial advisors with any ambition of success know that the only way to stand out in a vast sea of sameness is by providing an extraordinary customer experience—one that can turn your clients into stark raving fans. To do anything less relegates you to the ranks of every other advisor who prides themselves on providing “excellent service” to their clients. “Excellence” is now a minimum expectation of clients who have been raising the bar for advisors for the last decade.

So, what is an extraordinary client experience, and how can advisors consistently deliver it? The challenge for advisors is there is no standardization for delivering superior client service. One client is different from the next in how they view the level of service provided. The level of communication and engagement that suits one type of client may fall short for another type.

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The Fee Discussion: It’s Not the Fees That Bother Clients. It’s the Mystery Surrounding Them

The Fee Discussion: It’s Not the Fees That Bother Clients. It’s the Mystery Surrounding Them

For many advisors, discussing fees with their clients is about as comfortable as going to the dentist. They know they have to do it, but they’d much rather be doing something else. Why is that? Is it because they don’t feel their fees are justified? Are they afraid the client will balk at them? Are they concerned they will ruin the rapport they built up to that point?

It may come as a surprise to advisors, but clients expect to talk about fees. In fact, for most clients, it’s not the fees that bother them; it’s the mystery surrounding them when they don’t get the whole story. Some clients have a hard time understanding how fees work, which makes them feel uncomfortable. But they feel worse and may presume the worst when they don’t feel they’ve received all the information.

The fee discussion is a pivotal moment in the process and can set the tone for the relationship going forward. It’s also an opportunity to differentiate yourself if you do it right. That’s why it’s essential that advisors be well-prepared with a practiced presentation and the confidence to deliver it with the highest degree of transparency and professionalism.

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Strengths or Weaknesses: Where Should Advisors Focus?

Strengths or Weaknesses - Where Should Advisors Focus

Getting to the next level in any endeavor requires a thorough understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths have the potential to power your advancement, while weaknesses could possibly hold you back. But not all strengths and weaknesses are equal in the way they can impact your practice. The challenge for advisors is knowing whether to focus first on their weaknesses and then their strengths or vice versa.

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How to Make Your Presentations More Convincing and Inspiring

Successful Presentations - How to Make Your Presentations More Convincing and Inspiring

Any chance you have to make a presentation is a golden opportunity to engage with people and demonstrate your worth. Financial advisors who can deliver exceptional presentations can differentiate themselves while connecting with potential clients in a memorable way. However, it’s challenging to recover from presentations that fall flat, leaving audience members wishing they could have their precious time back.

While some advisors are natural orators with the ability to sail effortlessly through a presentation, anyone can and should develop the skill of delivering compelling and inspiring words that can move an audience. It takes some skill, lots and lots of practice, and a clear understanding of how to frame a presentation. But the results can be well worth the effort.

Here are five critical elements of a successful presentation.

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Want to Get Out of a Rut? Focus on Becoming Exceptional

Want to Get Out of a Rut? Focus on Becoming Exceptional

We can all remember when we first became financial advisors, feeling like we could conquer the world. With our entire careers in front of us, we were excited, motivated, and ready to commit everything we had to become successful. The great thing about starting out as an advisor was that there was never a dull moment. Everything was new, and we thrived on the daily challenges of learning how to build a successful practice.

Flash forward a few years, and time seems to slow down. The hours don’t fly by as they once did, and the pace of change has slowed to a crawl. That’s when you know you’re in a rut, which can be agonizing for someone who once braved the many obstacles that lay in front of all new financial advisors. For financial advisors, being in a rut can seem like dying a slow death.

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5 Ways You’re Setting Yourself Up to Fail

5 Ways You’re Setting Yourself Up to Fail

I don’t think any financial advisor wakes up in the morning and intentionally sets out to fail. But I can think of many examples of advisors who unwittingly find ways to sabotage their efforts to build a successful practice. It’s often the little things they are either unaware of or don’t recognize as problems. But they’re big enough to turn prospects and clients away from you.

While you may not think you are setting yourself up to fail, you have to consider whether you’re doing the things necessary to prepare yourself for success. That includes taking a critical look at yourself and the way you conduct business and making immediate course corrections.

While there are dozens of ways advisors may be sabotaging their business, here are five we see most often.

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Nail the First Meeting with a Prospective Client: Address What Your Prospects Want to Know

Nail the First Meeting with a Prospective Client - Address What Your Prospects Want to Know

It takes a lot of time, patience, and effort to move a prospect through the funnel to the point when they finally agree to meet with you. For every prospect that makes it that far probably six to nine fall by the wayside. That makes that first meeting ever so crucial. There’s a lot that must be accomplished. It has to go perfectly. There’s a minimal margin for error.

Every advisor has their own formula for constructing a perfect prospect meeting. It invariably includes a polished presentation and ample opportunities to present oneself as a likable, competent professional.

However, ensuring that first meeting is a success comes down to how you structure it to address all the prospect’s questions and concerns. They’re meeting with you to find out who you are and why they should work with you. They need the answers to very specific questions on their mind even though they may not ask them. So, why not structure the meeting around what your prospects really want to know?

Here are a few such questions they are asking themselves.

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The Importance of a Post-meeting Checklist

The Importance of a Post-meeting Checklist

Nailing that initial prospect meeting is crucial if you are to have any chance at starting a relationship. If you follow your first meeting preparation checklist to a T, you’ve established good rapport, shown your authentic self, listened more than talked, and pinpointed the person’s pain points. You mapped out the initial steps to address their biggest concerns and got agreement to forge ahead. What comes next?

In many respects, your follow-up to that first meeting is just as crucial as it will either reinforce your prospect’s positive feelings about you and the experience, or it could raise red flags triggering remorse. The initial meeting follow-up is your opportunity to showcase your commitment to excellent client service and set the tone for the new relationship.

Too often, advisors allow critical things to fall through the cracks, creating a perception of incompetence or not caring. That’s why a post-meeting checklist is just as essential as a meeting prep checklist culminating with a well-crafted follow-up email or letter setting the stage for the next step. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy checklist but completing the items on a timely basis is critical.

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Keys to Building Life-Long Loyalty with Clients

Keys to Building Life-Long Loyalty with Clients

Successful financial advisors know that client retention is vital for sustaining and growing their business. Replacing a client who leaves with a new client is expensive and hard work, costing five to 25 times more than retaining an existing one. Success at retaining clients enables advisors to focus on delivering value to them instead of having to pursue new clients.

However, advisors who shoot for a high client retention rate, as crucial as that may be, might be falling short of the mark. Building client loyalty is much more critical. Is that a difference without a distinction? What does it mean when you have a client’s loyalty?

Many clients stick around for various reasons:

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3 Key Steps Remote Advisors Must Take to Make Emotional Connections with Clients

3 Key Steps Remote Advisors Must Take to Make Emotional Connections with Clients

Now that the pandemic is waning, many advisors are choosing to continue working remotely, finding that it increases their efficiency and that their clients enjoy the convenience of virtual communication. Many advisors and clients alike also enjoy the flexibility of a remote relationship. It appears that, on the surface, this new advisory model can be a win-win for advisors and their clients.

While that is sure to change the advisor-client dynamic, one thing that won’t change is the need for advisors to make an emotional, personal connection with their new clients as a prerequisite for an enduring relationship. But just how do advisors accomplish that virtually?

While the same things that can be said in person can be said virtually, there’s still a physical distance that needs to be made up. Virtual eye contact is not the same as physical eye contact. There’s a virtual buffer that diminishes the personal presence people feel. Without being able to see the full range of a person’s body language, how do you know if you are making an emotional connection?

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