How Financial Advisors Can Be the Leader Their Clients Want

How Financial Advisors Can Be the Leader Their Clients Want

In today’s complex financial landscape, being knowledgeable and able to connect with people is not enough. Clients expect more from you as their financial advisor. They expect you to lead them to financial security. Individuals seek financial advice because they lack the knowledge and expertise to navigate their financial futures effectively. But they are not inclined to follow just any advisor—only those who can unequivocally inspire trust and confidence. Why bother with anyone else?

Advisors must work each day to demonstrate leadership qualities that inspire trust, confidence, and informed decision-making. Here are the critical areas advisors should focus on to become leaders in the eyes of their clients:

Read more

How Financial Advisors Can Take Control Over Their Time

How Financial Advisors Can Take Control Over Their Time

As a financial advisor, your most valuable resource is your time. If you are not in control of how you spend your time, then you are not in control of your results. Controlling your time and injecting your schedule with the right mix of high-payoff activities is vital to achieving your goals.

However, time is a diminishing resource, which is why it’s so valuable yet so challenging to manage. Advisors must find a way to maximize their critical high-payoff activities, such as client interactions, prospect meetings, and prospecting, while allocating sufficient time for other essential activities that need to get done, such as administrative tasks, marketing, and planning. Advisors must also be able to allocate adequate time for professional and personal development and ensure there’s enough left over for a healthy work-life balance.

Read more

5 Scenarios When Advisors Should Fire Clients with Conflict of Interest

5 Scenarios When Advisors Should Fire Clients with Conflict of Interest

We’ve posted several times on the topic of conflicts of interest created by financial advisors when their objectivity may be compromised, and their interests are not necessarily aligned with their client’s best interests. We talked about the harm it can cause to the advisory relationship. Financial advisors caught up in ethical dilemmas, whether intentional or not, must be ready to take corrective action to save the relationship and keep the trust of their clients.

But what about when the tables are turned, and the client creates a conflict of interest or ethical dilemma? It happens more than you might think—when a client’s personal interests or values don’t align with their advisor’s. The conflict may not be egregious or illegal, but even if it just rubs you the wrong way, it might be time to cut the client loose.

Read more

How to Help Clients Through Their Financial Anxiety

How to Help Clients Through Their Financial Anxiety

Who among us has never had worries about money? You can expect that many of your clients have experienced money worries from time to time. We know that clients can become stressed during periods of increasing market volatility or economic distress. And we’ve shared how financial advisors can help clients deal with that stress and confront fears to prevent their emotions from controlling their decisions.

But what about financial anxiety? Not only is that different from stress, but it can be much more debilitating to the psyche, causing mental paralysis in the face of important financial decisions. While stress is typically caused by external factors, such as a crashing market or rising unemployment, anxiety tends to rise internally over fears or unhealthy attitudes about the world around us.

Read more

How to Become Your Client’s Trusted Confidant

How to Become Your Client's Trusted Confidant

We’ve frequently stressed the importance of building deep and trusting relationships with clients. Practically speaking, the stronger and more enduring your client relationships, the greater their lifetime value to you in terms of repeat business, growing assets under management, referrals, and family legacies. For financial advisors, the profit truly is in the relationship.

The most successful advisors seek to take the relationship even deeper—to the point where they become a trusted confidant of their clients. They want to be the first person their clients think of when any significant issue arises, be it a family milestone (i.e., birth, college graduation, engagement), family tragedy (i.e., divorce, death), career change, or any major family decision (i.e., new home purchase).

To some, that may seem like going above and beyond. After all, isn’t it enough to have the family’s trust to act in their best interests in helping them manage their money? Is it appropriate to try to insert ourselves into every aspect of their lives? What do we gain from that? What does the client gain? Why would a client want their financial advisor as a trusted confidant?

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Addressing Communication Breakdowns: 5 Common Communication Challenges Financial Advisors Face Today

Addressing Communication Breakdowns - 5 Common Communication Challenges Financial Advisors Face Today

We spend a lot of time and space here harping on the importance of client communications because, more than anything else you do in this business, it can make or break you.

We’ve discussed that 72% of clients who fire their financial advisors do so due to poor communication. We’ve pointed out studies that show clients value solid communications the most in an advisory relationship, yet many feel they’re not receiving it.

We’ve also outlined the reasons why it’s critical to build a systematic communications structure designed to keep your clients engaged, cultivate loyalty, and instill confidence in your advice and then provided a framework for building it.

Above all, we’ve stressed the importance of continuously working on your communication and requisite soft skills for building trust and solidifying your relationship.

However, all that will do you little good if you don’t recognize the communication challenges you face on a daily basis, especially the communication breakdowns that lead to conflicts, such as miscommunications, misunderstandings, and a lack of clarity.

Here are five of the most common communication challenges financial advisors must recognize and overcome to build and maintain solid client relationships:

Read more

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.

Read more

1 2 3 5
top