Most successful financial advisors know this and any experienced financial planner know this by heart. If we had to narrow it down to a single word, the most important trait to get more referrals and build a successful practice is: Trust. Building, gaining and maintaining trust is the single most important element to a successful practice.
According to the latest white paper “The Trusted Advisor” by the Association of Financial Advisors (AFA) there are multiple benefits to being a trust advisor. The data shows that these advisors have:
- High client advocacy
- Better prospect conversion
- Clients that are will to pay fees
- Strong and enduring relationships with their clients
But what does trust really mean and how does a Financial Advisory growth this organically?
In the same AFA paper, the results were tabulated from over 512 client interviews and data points. Overwhelming, 82% of clients measured the quality of their relationship by the communication skills of their advisor.
The typical client praise of their trusted advisor is:
“Communication, she comes across very well and is quite good at explaining things in a simple and clear way. She also uses diagrams to illustrate what she is trying to explain.”
“He is an excellent communicator – always explains things in an easy to understand manner so that during and after our conversations, I do not have the slightest worry about him and his team continuing to manage my finances.”
“Explaining things in easy to understand language, caring about whether I understand what is going on with my affairs and being happy to spend the time with me for me to get an understanding.”
“For us it has been the fact that she communicates, in plain English, matters relating to Financial Planning…”Client of Trusted Advisor
What are the key takeaways from clients of Trusted Advisors?
Communication skills are obviously important in any advisor-client relationship but how do we recreate it to get more referrals and grow your financial advisory?
The key takeaway from the AFA White Paper and the over 100 high successful Financial Advisors that I’ve spoken is the ability of the planner to be able to decipher all the jargon into a simple, easy-to-understand way to build rapport and ultimately trust with the client in your ability to be their financial steward.
KISS your client In your Financial Advisory
There is a saying that originates from the US Navy in the 1960s and has since spread to software development circles too. It’s a design principle that goes like this: “Kiss it simple, stupid”. People lovingly shorten it to KISS. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated. In this case, the KISS principle applies to the relationship between you are your client. Strong systems are resilient, weak systems break and fail. Keeping the explanation of the Financial Plan you crafted for your clients simple, helps instill trust.
This is how you grow your referrals and your practice.
One way to keep it simple is to create a simple Client Implementation Roadmap and Agendas. See how seamlessly this can be incorporated into your practice here.