Thousands of people depend on the expertise of financial advisors to secure their retirements, educational funding, and beyond. They trust financial advisors to know how different types of investments work, what the risks are, and which type of investment best suits their goals. Both the advisor and the client experience some level of risk, and this can be especially challenging for the client. The client needs to know that the chosen advisor is worthy of being responsible for his or her financial future. The advisor needs a reputation for being dependably successful if his or her practice is to grow. Both participants need to have confidence in the other, or the relationship falls apart.
Whether you’re a financial advisor or not, this blog is for you. If you are an advisor, our tips for authentically building client confidence will help you bolster your practice’s success. If you are a client, the following list can be a guide of characteristics you should search for in an advisor. Let’s get started!
Respect your clients’ time
Courtesy is an easy way to foster deep loyalty in your clients. A lot of courtesy has gone out the window these days, so a little goes a long way. Do your best to remain aware of your clients’ time, needs, and personal schedules. If you’re wondering what this actually looks like in an average day, here is what you should see:
- Respond promptly to emails and completely address all the points raised. No more than 24 hours should go by before an email response goes out.
- Log onto scheduled calls two minutes in advance. You never want your client to be on the call first. Additionally, being on the call early means you have a minute or two to ensure all your ducks are in a row, which will boost your confidence and make the call more efficient.
- Return phone calls promptly. Phone calls are like emails and should be tended to in no fewer than 24 hours. Even 24 hours can feel slow. Phone calls should move a bit faster than emails. The earlier you can return the phone call, the better.
- Stick to call/meeting end times. You may have a few more minutes to talk, but your client may need to hurry off to another appointment. The last thing you want to do is make a client late. If you cannot complete business within the call or meeting, it is fine to ask to go longer. If the client has to leave, ensure you know where to pick up the next time you meet.
Stick to your commitments
Clients won’t trust their money to an advisor who can’t follow through on small things like deadlines or appointments. And here’s the thing: you can’t do your job without input from and contact with your clients. Make each point of contact a high priority, and do your best to make it the best experience possible for the client. This not only builds loyalty, it can prevent headaches: by sticking to your commitments, you silently ask your client to do the same thing. It’s up to you to set the tone, so make sure you do it right. Here are some things you can do to accomplish a great relationship:
- If you promise follow-up on anything, get back in touch on it quickly.
- Keep your appointments and be on time.
- Take the initiative and regularly update your client on any progress made toward official goals. Don’t wait for the client to ask how things are going. Staying on top of updates shows the client that you’re thinking of him or her. It also allows the client to report progress to others, which may make his or her life far easier.
Keep communication open and clear
This follows the last point. You need to ensure that you have open, healthy channels of communication between yourself and your clients. Part of this is learning how much information your clients want. Some people feel better when they are carbon copied on everything. Others would find that bothersome and only want to communicate when something is going wrong or a goal has been reached. Learn how your client likes to communicate, and then be the one to push information out. Like we said before, the client should not have to ask (to pull). Here is what great communication looks like:
- Detailed reports on phone calls and in-person meetings. These reports should include the decisions made, assignments set, and questions yet to be answered. This report should be sent out to all participants. It not only keeps all participants in the loop, it establishes a healthy paper trail that can support you if things go south.
- Never assuming anyone received information or requests. If you send out an email and don’t get a response, it’s time to follow up, not assume the recipient has decided not to respond.
- Keep a central location for messages and files. Go ahead and explore project management programs. They are designed to facilitate communication, collaboration, and the storage of important files. Just like detailed reports, they can be helpful paper trails.
Listen well and act on what you hear
Professional relationships can be great, but they can also conceal a lot of frustration. As an advisor, you are in a unique position. You can make things easier for your clients before they ask you to. It’s worth doing because chances are good, they will never ask you and instead be frustrated. Many times, when people express frustration with being too busy, hampered by bureaucracy, or struggling with too many meetings, they are expressing something else. Listen for that. Here are some examples:
- Does your client feel really busy because they have to take your reports and mash them into a bigger report for a boss or stakeholder? You can offer to format your reports so they aren’t so much work to integrate. If it makes sense, you can even offer to do the admin work yourself.
- If you see flaws in your client’s processes, feel free to point them out and suggest improvements. You’ll be indirectly improving your own situation by providing your client with possible relief from what may be a very busy schedule.
Stay curious about your clients
We understand that as an advisor, your clients can turn into investments, especially when you have a lot of them. Try not to let that happen. Always remind yourself that you aren’t just working with dollar amounts; you’re working with people’s futures. When you meet with your clients, try to get to know them a little better each time. Know their career industries and keep tabs on how those industries are doing. When you demonstrate that you care about your clients’ lives and not just their investments, you have a far better chance of winning their loyalty. You need that loyalty to sustain your working relationship through the ups and downs of the market.
At AlphaDroid, we know better than anyone how the market flexes and fluctuates. We also understand that you can’t afford to damage your clients’ investments. That is why we offer elite algorithmic trading strategies and software. We want to do the heavy lifting required for hitting things when they’re high and moving to safety when they’re low. Contact our team to learn more today!