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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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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First Meeting with a New Client—Preparation Checklist

First Meeting with a New Client – Preparation Checklist

The first meeting with a new client should be a momentous event for both you and the client. For your client, it’s the first opportunity to validate their decision to select you as their advisor. For you, it’s the first opportunity to showcase your professionalism and reinforce your new client’s decision. You both hope this will be the beginning of a long and trusting relationship.

As you prepare for your first client meeting, it’s critical to remember that you are being carefully evaluated. Your new client is essentially taking a leap of faith in choosing you, and you must always strive to make them feel like they have made the right choice. With that in mind, your first meeting sets the tone for the entire relationship. Plan it with care.

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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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Not Getting Through to Your Clients? 5 Ways to Step Up Your Engagement

5 Ways to Step Up Your Client Engagement

Most financial advisors understand the importance of client communications. Those who don’t find out the hard way that poor or infrequent communications is the number one reason clients leave their financial advisor, according to a Financial Advisor Magazine survey. But what if you feel you have a deliberate client communications strategy, yet your clients seem to be unresponsive or not engaging with you at a level that gives you confidence they are fully on board?

That’s not a good feeling, and it should sound alarms if you hope to maximize client retention.

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How to Increase Your Life Insurance Sales Making Every Initial Meeting with a Prospect Successful

How to Increase Your Life Insurance Sales Making Every Initial Meeting with a Prospect Successful

When people meet with you for the first time, subconsciously they have four questions that need to be answered. They haven’t thought about these questions in advance but they cross their mind during that meeting. If they are answered, this will ensure that there is not only a second follow-up meeting, but also presents the immediate opportunity to develop a long-term relationship:

Do I like you?
Do I trust you?
Are you competent?
Are you the sort of person who will put my best interests before your own?

In addition to these four questions, I believe that a person would also have to be thinking to themselves “this adviser makes sense!” if there is going to be an ongoing relationship.

How to make every fact-finding meeting a success

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When Presenting Clients with Options, Less Is More

When Presenting Clients with Options, Less Is More

We live at a time when people like to have choices. The internet affords people a seemingly unlimited number of choices for anything they desire, and they will surf the Web for hours searching for the perfect option. That may be fine when searching for consumer products, vacation options, or the best roads to take to their destination. But, when it comes to finding the right financial solutions, too many options often lead to “analysis paralysis.” In the financial realm, where the stakes are often high, too many choices can make people fearful of choosing the wrong one, increasing the likelihood they’ll choose to do nothing.

Financial advisors are sometimes complicit in creating analysis by paralysis by offering their clients too many options. It’s not intentional. There very well could be several good options for addressing a particular situation they feel their clients need to consider in many cases. Sometimes, advisors think it’s necessary to present multiple options to let their clients know they’ve covered all the bases. And in some cases, advisors have the impression that clients like to have options.

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Authenticity: The Key to a Favorable First Impression

No doubt you’ve heard the old axiom, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” And it’s tough to fix a bad first impression, especially in a world where some clients are predisposed to not trusting financial advisors. That’s a high hurdle to overcome when first meeting potential clients who may be looking for any reason to walk away.

You’ve probably also heard that the human brain processes information about a person’s face and mannerisms within a matter of seconds, leading to a quick conclusion about their abilities. The hurdle just got higher.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you’ve been in the business. Potential clients instinctively weigh and measure you, not by your expertise, capabilities, or knowledge, but by how much they think they like you. They’re looking for someone they can trust, and most people can’t trust someone they don’t like.

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Why Client Communications Must Be Your Highest Priority

Why Client Communications Must Be Your Highest Priority

Going into the new year, financial advisors need to take stock of their business and determine the one critical aspect they need to focus on that could make or break their year or even their career. Acquiring new clients is always a top priority, but there is even a higher priority for advisors hoping to break through to the next level. That’s because if you can’t retain the clients you have, you’ll find yourself in a deep hole, trying to claw your way out.

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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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