Why You Need to Encourage Your Clients to Ask Questions

Why You Need to Encourage Your Clients to Ask Questions

As a financial advisor, you occupy a position of trust, guiding clients through complex financial landscapes. While knowledge and experience are crucial assets, an advisor’s success hinges on another critical factor: fostering a culture of open communication where clients feel empowered to ask questions. This often-overlooked attribute can unlock a multitude of benefits, leading to more effective financial planning, stronger client relationships, and, ultimately, a brighter financial future for the client.

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The Perils of Lacking Empathy: Why It Matters for Financial Advisors

The Perils of Lacking Empathy - Why It Matters for Financial Advisors

Nothing can form a human connection quite like the genuine expression of empathy. That human connection, which is the basis of trust in a relationship, is what clients want from their advisors. Failure to make that connection quickly can drive clients into the arms of a more empathic advisor.

Why empathy is so powerful

Empathy is the ability to see the world through someone else’s eyes, understand their emotions, and connect with them on a deeper level. But to your clients, it’s much more than that. When you express genuine empathy with a client, they feel like they are the most important person in your life at that moment. You took the time to step inside their shoes, walk around, and make them feel understood without judging them.

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How to Bring Back Face-to-Face Meetings with Clients

How to Bring Back Face-to-Face Meetings with Clients

A survey by YCharts in December 2019 found that clients didn’t feel engaged and wanted more personalized communications. We’ve posted several times that, pre- and post-pandemic, the frequency and style of advisors’ communication directly impact client trust and confidence in their advisor, financial plan, and their likelihood of keeping their advisor.

A more recent report, post-pandemic, found that, though virtual meetings had taken hold as a viable form of communication for advisors forced to limit in-person meetings, it’s likely that the decrease in face-to-face contact contributed to client feelings of reduced communication. That’s a direct threat to the strength of the advisor-client relationship.

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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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3 Soft Skills Advisors Need to Refine for an Immediate Connection with Prospects

3 Soft Skills Advisors Need to Refine for an Immediate Connection with Prospects

Not to diminish the hard work, effort, and time that goes into becoming a financial advisor—few professions are as demanding—but the essential skill advisors must acquire is the ability to sell. Perhaps a more acceptable term would be “the art of persuasion.” Whichever way you want to frame it, if you have difficulty persuading or convincing people to take action, you stand little chance of success.

Of course, that’s true of just about any profession that requires changing or influencing people’s behavior. It just happens to be more challenging when selling financial advice and expecting to get paid for it. Advisors must understand that buying an intangible service requiring people to trust that the advisor can deliver that intangible value is scary for most people. It’s far less threatening to stay with the status quo and do nothing.

The trouble is, if you can’t convince people to follow you or your advice, you aren’t accomplishing anything. To overcome the inherent trust deficit and open prospects’ minds, financial advisors must constantly refine three critical soft skills, or they will have fewer chances to demonstrate their highly trained competencies.

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First Meeting Conversations You Need to Have with Prospective Clients

First Meeting Conversations You Need to Have with Prospective Clients

Let’s be honest. Many financial advisors view the first client meeting frettingly as an obstacle to overcome on their way to, hopefully, establishing a new client relationship. After all, the way you start a first client meeting sets the tone for how your relationship will develop—if it develops at all. Prospective clients don’t make it any easier, often approaching their first advisor meeting with an air of skepticism or apprehension. This creates an unnatural tension that crowds out trust-building. That tension must be broken at the outset, and the ball is in the advisor’s court.

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The Right Story at the Right Time Can and Will Tip the Decision in Your Direction

The Right Story at the Right Time Can and Will Tip the Decision in Your Direction

When you meet with prospective clients, they will very possibly have concerns. They may be worried about investing per se, undecided about whether now’s the right time to invest, or unsure if you are worth your fees.

Don’t see their concerns as obstacles but as an opportunity to build trust. If you suspect they feel anxious, step in tell them an “I know what you’re thinking” story to reassure them they’re doing the right thing. This is a story designed to take away some of your prospect’s concerns.

Here are some situations where a good story can help persuade prospects to hire you as their advisor.

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Don’t Let Clients’ Concerns Escalate: Tackle Issues Head on

Don’t Let Clients’ Concerns Escalate - Tackle Issues Head on

Meeting your clients’ expectations is the least you can do – it’s simply part of your job – so don’t expect to get a pat on the back for it. If you want to retain clients for the long term, you need to step up your level of service way beyond this and be more proactive than other advisors. Offer your clients a heroic standard of service by taking ownership of their problems before they become detrimental to your business.

Here are four ways to ensure you keep things on track.

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