The Slippery Slope from Empathy to Role Reversal, and How to Avoid It

The Slippery Slope from Empathy to Role Reversal, and How to Avoid It

Successful financial advisors know that expressing empathy is critical in helping them to connect with clients and solidify their relationships. Clients need to know you understand their circumstances and what they may be going through at any given time. However, empathy taken too far can backfire when advisors find themselves sharing the same emotional distress as their clients, which can threaten their objectivity and compromise sound planning advice.

At the extreme, this can lead to advisors relinquishing control of the relationship to their clients and acquiescing to their desire “to fix the problem” in the short-term at the expense of their long-term plan. This type of role reversal is not uncommon for advisors who become emotionally vested in their clients, wanting to do what they can to ease their pain. Suddenly, the relationship is no longer being guided by rational, objective advice; but rather the behavioral impulses advisors are supposed to prevent, such as selling into a steep market decline, or abandoning the long-term strategy just to alleviate the immediate suffering.

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5 Red Flags That Will Cause Your Prospects to Dismiss You

5 Red Flags That Will Cause Your Prospects to Dismiss You

You never see it coming, and you may never know the reason why. A prospective client you have carefully cultivated agrees to a meeting to learn more about how you can help them. It seems to go well. Their heads were nodding up and down, and they laughed at your joke. At the end of the 30-minute meeting, you suggest the next step with an offer to follow up with them. Turning toward the door, they reply, “We’ll let you know.”

You know that’s the end of it. So, you replay it in your head, asking, “What were the red flags that soured their perception of me?”

Whether the outcome of a prospect meeting is good or bad, you should always replay it in your mind. With a positive outcome, you need to know what worked and why. For a negative outcome, it’s vital to understand what didn’t work and why. Identifying the negatives is often more difficult because it’s hard to be self-critical. But that’s where the path to self-improvement begins. To help in your diagnosis, we list the five of the most common red flags that could cause your prospects to dismiss you.

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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.

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Financial Advisor Webinar Marketing: 7 Reasons Why You Should Do It

Financial Advisor Webinar Marketing - 7 Reasons Why You Should Do It

For several decades, financial advisors successfully used seminars to introduce themselves to potential clients. Seminar marketing is still the most effective way to present yourself as an authority and knowledgeable resource—two traits investors covet in a trusted advisor. However, thanks to Covid19, live seminar events may be a thing of the past, at least until […]

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Using Client Personas to Attract Your Ideal Client

Using Client Personas to Attract Your Ideal Client

Most financial advisors are familiar with the concept of creating an “ideal client profile” used to identify the type of prospects they want to target. However, that may not go far enough to attract and directly engage with digitally savvy high net-worth investors in the digital age. Emerging-affluent millennials, in particular, are cautious about who they engage with if they can’t see what’s in it for them.

In a digitally wired world, financial advisors need to be able to identify with their target market and communicate in a way they can identify with you. That requires taking the ideal client profile to the next level by digging deeper into who they are, what they do, how they think and communicate, and why they might want to engage with someone like you.

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What Not to Do in Building Lasting Client Relationships

What Not to Do in Building Lasting Client Relationships

For financial advisors, building lasting client relationships is as essential as it is challenging. There’s really no more important aspect of an advisor’s practice to ensure sustainable growth. While many advisors try to focus on facets in their practice to bring more value to the relationship, they tend to gloss over what not to do, which can have an even more significant impact on their relationships – and not in a good way.

Here are four key “what not to do’s” all advisors need to proactively convert into a priority to-do list.

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Educate Clients about Market Volatility so They Can Confidently Stick to the Plan

Educate Clients about Market Volatility so They Can Confidently Stick to the Plan

Happy New Year from all of us at Don Connelly & Associates! Hopefully everyone will enjoy good health during the new year, achieving great success both personally and professionally.

As promised, this week we’re posting the second part of the recap blog post, covering two more popular topics our community of Advisors was most interested in during 2020 – market volatility and how to communicate with prospects and clients about it. We’ll also share a few stories and analogies you can use to convince clients to stick to the plan, no matter the market conditions.

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Six Ways Financial Advisors Can Establish Trust in Today’s Virtual World

Six Ways Financial Advisors Can Establish Trust in Today’s Virtual World

You can have all the technical and market skill in the world. But if people don’t trust you, you’re not going to open new accounts.

It’s just a fact of life in sales: If people don’t trust you, their defensive mechanisms are going to be up during the entire sales process. If you’re lucky, they’ll tell you. At least that way, you get to face the trust issue head on. That might give you a fighting chance.

But more often than not, you’ll be met with polite silence, and the dreaded “we’ll give you a call if we decide to do anything.”

If you hear that, chances are you whiffed on the trust issue.

After all, if you had their trust, they’d be looking for ways to talk themselves into doing business with you!

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Convincing Clients of the Futility of Market Timing

Convincing Clients of the Futility of Market Timing

We will probably never admit it, but most of us are lousy timers, and, of course, none of us can predict the future. How often have you tried to shift your way through stop and go freeway traffic to end up in the slowest lane again? For investors who try to time the market, the actual costs of underperformance and lost opportunity are invariably greater than the potential benefit.

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How to Assure Clients That Volatility Is Part of the Strategy

How to Assure Clients That Volatility Is Part of the Strategy

Unquestionably, the stock market has experienced extreme volatility in the last couple of years, elevating the anxiety levels of investors who grew complacent throughout a historic 11-year bull market. Just as they did throughout the wild gyrations of the 2008-2011 market, investors have grown intolerant of the recent, wild stock market gyrations, resulting in many choosing to make wholesale changes to their portfolio, switch financial advisors, or flee the market entirely.

But, what investors may not understand is that switching between asset classes to avoid volatility can actually have the opposite effect. It is incumbent upon financial advisors to help their clients understand that, with a sound investment strategy and a long-term perspective, volatility can actually be good for a stock portfolio because it has always been the primary force that drives market gains over time.

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