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.

Read more

Financial Advisor Do’s and Don’ts During Extreme Market Volatility

Financial Advisor Do’s and Don’ts During Extreme Market Volatility

Financial advisors play a vital role in helping clients achieve their most important financial goals. But where they really earn their fees is during times like these, when helping clients navigate the choppy waters of extreme market volatility. Clients look to their advisors to guide them through scary times and reassure them that everything will be okay.

Emotions run high when the market turns volatile. When stressed, humans instinctively want to do something and take some kind of action to reduce or eliminate the threat. That’s when mistakes typically occur. The value of a financial advisor rises in direct proportion to the anxiety levels of their clients, who look at volatile market swings as a threat to their financial security. The critical role of financial advisors is to keep their clients from making costly behavioral mistakes. During periods of extreme market volatility, there are some things advisors must do and things they should avoid doing to maximize their value to their clients. Here are a few.

Read more

Why You Shouldn’t Be Apologetic when Asking for Business or Referrals

Why You Shouldn’t Be Apologetic when Asking for Business or Referrals

For many financial advisors, that moment right before asking a prospect to take action on a recommendation or, in sales parlance, asking for the order is filled with tension. It can be more stressful when asking for referrals. Less seasoned advisors are often overcome with the fear of rejection, which is natural until you’ve developed more confidence in your ability to close. That comes with practice and experience.

The bigger problem is with advisors who, for whatever reason, approach that critical moment feeling apologetic—as if asking a client for a referral or a prospect to act on their recommendation may seem offensive. It’s a bigger problem because it stems from a mindset that can be more difficult to overcome. It demonstrates a lack of conviction in what they are proposing or, worse, in what they do for a living. They’re not convinced they are providing genuine value. If you don’t believe in yourself at that moment, how can you expect your prospect to have conviction in your solution or your client to believe in you when you ask for a referral?

Read more

How to Clearly Demonstrate Value so Your Clients Don’t Question Your Fees

How to Clearly Demonstrate Value so Your Clients Don’t Question Your Fees

As a financial advisor, you know you bring value to your advisory relationships, which, in your mind, justifies the fees you charge. Your challenge is that, from your clients’ perspective, value is difficult to define. It doesn’t make it any easier when you consider that a client’s assessment of value is subjective, which can vary from client to client. A study by Vanguard attempted to quantify an advisor’s value in terms of how the right advice—primarily keeping clients from abandoning their strategy—can potentially increase a client’s returns by as much as 3% annually. The problem is that difference in performance isn’t apparent in your clients’ statements.

So, how do you demonstrate value in a way that makes your clients not feel the need to question why they’re paying the fees you charge—that they are getting their money’s worth? It may be as easy as simply giving your clients what they want.

Read more

top