Has your client misjudged you or showed sign of mistrust? They may have a relationship with you, but are times there when they panic and all you wish is that they have a little faith in you, right?
Reports of how naïve investors have been taken for a ride are plenty, and that’s precisely the reason why investors do not TRUST financial advisors easily today. TRUST is earned over a period of time by doing what’s respectful and moral.
And hence investors are cautious at every step. After all, it’s a matter of their hard-earned money. And with so many avenues available in market, it’s a little difficult to ensure that your clients stick around.
All advisers claim to provide the best possible advice. In such circumstances, how can you, as an adviser, stand out? Well, one of the key ways of doing this is by providing prudent advice, and striving to seek your client’s interest before your own, by handling their investments with as much as care as you would manage yours. This can be a win-win for you as well your client and would earn you loyalty. Being happy with the advice you render them, clients may even recommend your service to others as they talk highly about you/your organization.
Let us understand how to earn your client’s loyalty by simply understanding the basics of this relationship:
- What clients expect
Understanding the each other’s expectations is the most basic requirement in any kind of relationship. And when there is an exchange of money, the expectations are much higher.
And, in this case, your client first expects you to be transparent. So, follow the best disclosure norms. Client’s expect you to understand their needs so they may receive ‘personalised’ prudent advice. Imagine going to a doctor who gives you a prescription without taking cognizance of your physiology and medical history —— the results would be disastrous! Hence, as a financial advisor you need to ensure that your client’s financial health is not at risk. Understand his/her financial history and his goals well. Build pragmatic expectations and goals by showing a realistic risk-return view.
Another important factor is to understand your client’s risk-taking capacity. And accordingly recommend securities which will ensure achievement of goals at their given level of risk. Clients expect you to holistically recognise their financial conditions before you offer advice. They expect you to understand their investment objective, as well as know their financial goals, age, income, expenses, asset & liabilities apart from a host of other facets. They are looking at need-based solutions and are uncomfortable with product pushing. Moreover, when you speak with them, it is best to avoid financial jargons and explain it all in as simple terms as possible. Also, avoid beating round the bush— communicate clearly!
Don’t resort to pushing products. Remember, as a Certified Financial Guardian, it is vital and beneficial to follow an independent and unbiased approach by putting your client’s interest ahead at all times. Your client expects you to be sincere while handling their personal finances with as much care as you would personally manage your own.
So, you ought to adopt high fiduciary standards, which are always in the best interest of clients.
- What do clients appreciate
One thing that clients appreciate the most is transparency and openness. So, to build trust and confidence in your relationship with all your clients, disclose if you’re earning commissions through your advisory practice. It will help. At PersonalFN, we follow high standards of ethics, and that’s helped us win the respect of several clients.
Everyone likes to feel special, and for that you can provide personalised/customised advice to your clients. Show willingness to resolve your client’s queries. If you voluntarily take efforts to maximize the benefits your client can gain, he is most likely to feel content with your recommendations and services. Providing a value-added service to the client, even if he hasn’t paid for it, would encourage his loyalty.
Remember the client will ultimately value your advice only if it compensates him/her well. Hence, work in a manner where your advice and recommendations genuinely benefit the client. This can happen only if you conduct thorough research and in-depth need based analysis. Don’t sell a particular product just because you earn a hefty commission on it; but advice it appropriately because it has the potential to reward the client adequately.
Another thing which clients appreciate is being told the reasoning behind your advice/recommendations logically. He/she will then be able to relate to your views and develop a healthy rapport with you.
- How to cultivate trust
“Trust is one of the most written about and researched topics because many of us have been betrayed” says David Bedrick, a practicing psychologist. He’s gone on to add that betrayal has two parts:
- Violation of a spoken or an unspoken agreement; and
- The resultant injury
Cultivating trust is a process. It cannot be built in few days. Remember, you have to earn the trust of your clients, always put your client’s interest first. People do not like being sold, rather they like make their own decisions to buy recommended services and products.
Educate your clients about the processes, the policies, & the procedures. Most investors are ignorant about these things and therefore look for professional help to guide them through the complicated maze of personal finance. A Financial Guardian has to be like a doctor, patiently addressing the queries of his patients to their satisfaction without frowning at them or sounding irritated. Remember, patience is virtue!
Most importantly, follow the best fiduciary standards. Most times, going beyond the purview of the law and acting on moral grounds in best interest of your client, can earn you trust and goodwill. So, beat the stereotype.
To build a trustworthy relationship, you need to earn it. You might get clients by adopting various advertising techniques, but to continue a healthy relationship over a longer time period, you need to win their trust. It will not happen by chance, you have to consistently be for them throughout their financial journey.