Your Success Depends on The Strength of Your Client Relationships
Client relationships are the cornerstone of your business. They must be strong enough to weather bad market conditions and to ensure clients stay invested for the long term.
Here are some things you should do to maintain a secure ongoing partnership with your clients, regardless of market conditions.
Prepare for market volatility
Prevention is better than cure – so just as you would wear sickness bands or take travel pills before you set sail, you need to ensure that remedies to combat volatility are in place. Even when clients are forewarned they could lose money, many don’t believe it until it happens. When that ugly day comes and there’s a sudden drop in cabin pressure the strength of your relationship will be sharply in the spotlight.
Act proactively to keep your relationship strong
Whether your clients continue to pursue their goals depends on their perception of your relationship – is it strong enough?
When the markets tank, the media is flooded with countless negative interpretations that serve to make investors lose their perspective. The media love to turn glitches into crises, because it’s newsworthy – if only for a few minutes. And negative news does not result in better investment decisions – in fact quite the opposite. The more reminders clients get that they’re losing money, the unhappier it will make them – especially since people tend to feel financial losses more than financial gains.
Only you can combat your client’s instinctive response to bad news by having your ‘bear market’ presentation at the ready. You don’t need to bring out charts or present involved logical arguments. Clients simply need to believe in you and trust that you are monitoring their situation carefully. You need to show them you are committed to doing the right thing by them.
Communication skills are paramount in relationship-building
To combat your clients’ doubt, you must be able to communicate in a calm, confident and knowledgeable manner. You need to assure clients that while markets are by nature volatile they always correct themselves over the long term.
Current events are of little importance compared to the long-term outlook. Take your client’s focus off the short term so they can put things in perspective. Remind clients of why they started an investment plan in the first place – then get them to see that things haven’t changed and that they’re still firmly on track.
They need to see that you are a man or woman of your word. You made them a promise – so re-iterate that you will be there to see them reap the rewards of their long-term investment plan.
Don’t ever take your eye off the relationship
To keep your relationship on track, go back to old-fashioned values. Do what others don’t do to create and maintain a strong long-term relationship with clients. Clients selected you at the start because they liked you and believed you had the right tools to solve their problems.
As time goes on it’s how you behave that will inform them as to whether you’re going to keep your promises. How much they trust you is in direct correlation to how much you put into the relationship.
Provide the type of service people talk about
Become a client advocate. Find out what they want and make life easy for them. Be a world class communicator. Use analogies and stories to make the unfamiliar familiar. Don’t quote figures, concentrate on what your clients need. Return all calls and emails promptly, and ask for feedback – ask clients continually how they feel you’re doing.
Most clients want a personal relationship with their advisor so become friends and get involved in their lives. When you’re around them put your own concerns on the backburner and make theirs the priority.
Above all be passionate – tell them life will be good when they achieve their dreams. Be enthusiastic about their chances of making this happen. Connect emotionally and give them an outstanding experience. Your added value will come as a pleasant surprise. So, exceed client expectations, care more than people expect you to care, and you will build a relationship that lasts.
Watch this one-minute video to learn how Don Connelly 24/7 will help you further develop your relationship building skills.
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