Regardless of your line of work, client base, or professional experience, connection is always key when building successful relationships. As a financial advisor or any other financially integral professional, your relationship with your clients is often part of a much larger and more vertically integrated story. Throughout the process, you become privy to the most personal parts of your clients' lives and livelihoods. You end up discussing not just their financial goals but their hopes, dreams, and legacies. These topics deserve a reverence all their own, and connecting with your clients through a combination of honest communication and trust-building is paramount to the success of the professional relationship. Below, we’ve gathered our top tips for how to build meaningful relationships based on trust and transparency to bring your business to the next level.
Understanding your client
Knowing the ins and outs of how to be a great advisor is integral, but to be truly successful, you have to know how to understand people. One of the simplest ways to understand your clients on a deeper level, as well as make them feel more comfortable both with you and with the process itself, is as simple as listening. Of course, this includes listening to what they are saying verbally, but you should also compare your conversations with them to concrete information, such as their existing financial portfolio. For example, while clients may assure you that they have everything in order, by taking the time to gather all the facts, you may discover that you can suggest certain courses of action that they may not even have known they needed. Every client—and, for that matter, every person—is a combination of past life experiences and future goals. By truly listening, you can set the scene for meaningful conversations to take place that will not only help clients connect with you but enable you to know exactly how to guide them through the process to reach their goals.
In addition, the more relatable and personable you are as an advisor, the deeper the connection you’ll build with your clients. While maintaining a high level of professionalism is always important, don’t be afraid to have a personality and let the conversation evolve organically. Financial Advisor Leslie E. Streitfeld, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, CEP, RFC, RICP, notes that “[a] successful financial advisor must have ways to remain top-of-mind to his [or her] clients. This will not only result in maintaining a longstanding relationship but will yield many referrals. I always make sure to remember small details from my client conversations that let them know that I truly hear them.” In essence, connect with them not as advisor to client but person to person to build and maintain this imperative level of trust. The connective moments you share with them are what they’ll remember once the conversation is over.
Understanding the value you bring to your client.
Let’s face it: everyone is busy. Between work and leisure, our time and attention are typically consumed 24/7. The average person has well over 90 online accounts, changes jobs 10 times before the age of 40, and has about a 50% chance of being part of a family involving step-parents and/or children.
Now more than ever, people need LegacyShield help to manage all of their scattered information and data to provide clarity when they are unable to do things on their own. Knowing these figures and how you can both educate and assist clients through their planning journey is key. In connection, Streitfeld adds, “It’s critical to constantly look for ways to distinguish yourself from the competition. Value-added services like LegacyShield are the type of service that can be offered to your client as part of a comprehensive financial plan.”
To learn more about how LegacyShield can help effortlessly bridge the digital gap between advisors, their clients, and their documents, read our blog: Who's Driving, Anyway? Insurance Pros Should Hand the Keys to Consumers.
The 3 Cs of Success
In summary, remember the 3 Cs: Communication, Connection, and Consistency. By building quality client relationships and putting the time in to establish a certain level of trust, you’ll experience both professional success and personal fulfillment in helping your clients reach their goals. At LegacyShield, we look forward to providing both you and your clients with targeted and customized digital storage for all your financial data needs.