Building on the previous post, we know that building Trust is the #1 way to grow your financial advisory.
Because trust is not only ensure the longevity of the relationship with the client you already have, but studies with financial advisory clients have shown that the deeper the advisor-client bond is, the stronger the engagement the client in the relationship and thus these are the clients that tend to refer at least 1 person to you. After all, it’s also your clients reputation at stake. They are referring something that would know intimate details of their lives and about their money, so referring a friend or family member to you means taking a social risk as it represents them. Mitigating that risk is a task that’s done through the collaborative efforts of building trust through loyalty but more importantly engagement.
There are many drivers of trust. But the #1 driver of trust as rated by clients (as documented in a study done by AdvisorImpact, Anatomy of a Referral) is an advisor who follows through on promises made. It sounds rather self-explanatory, but it is by far the most highly rated reason for what clients want to be able to trust their advisor. So in practice, how do we improve trust through promises made?
How to Improve the Outcome of Promises Made
There are two ways to help improve client trust:
- Show them a list of your actions
- Show them what was done/accomplished
- Show them what is outstanding and to give it a timeline, or
- Change the tactic or direction of action
Show Them Their Future
Firstly, I find that these two things are simple ways to show the client and ourselves to be on the same page. The degree to which the actions from the Financial Plan are completed should be simple to visualize and easy-to-understand. Provide them a Financial RoadMap of what needs to be done in order to reach the goals of the plan.
Show Them Their Past Accomplishments
Secondly, “show what was done.” We do this all the time in a personal and professional lives. We forget to celebrate the wins and only focus on things undone or we neglected to do. While that’s a good idea, it’s not easy to do when we are constantly bombarded by our failures and misgivings. In my research, I’ve found that one of the most important thing an advisor can give is encouragement.
The best way to encourage is to celebrate Clients tasks accomplishment. This also happens to be the way that you show that you followed through on promises made!
Weave A Story of Your Clients Lives, Tell Them A Story
Thirdly, there is a lot of talk in the technology circles of the power of using data. Big data, little data, there is a lot of information out there, but it’s the way you use it that counts. Using it, tracking it, visualizing it and then using it to inform, to persuade, to make more informed decisions is the best and easiest way to unlock the information you already have. So having this data is already half the battle to being able to track what was done, but how does this help you fulfill promises made?
A simple way to track it is what the CFP already espouses. That is when you have a list of recommendations, attach a date or timeframe to when it should be done. Doing this will allow for a way to track to the progress of the plan and to deliver on promises made. After all, if nothing is tracked, we have nothing to measure ourselves against.
Let Them Drive Their Plan and Their RoadMap
Lastly, we all know that promises can’t always be kept and mainly it’s due to the circumstances with the financial plan or changes in the motivation of the client. To shed some light on this, Michael Kitces, the foremost writer on all Practice Management mentioned on his blog Nerd’s EyeView, the main objective of Financial Planning is really an art and science of motivating change.
Your Successful (and Sustainable) Financial Advisory
Every sustainably successful financial advisor knows the key to change is really listening and the act of being present with clients. What does being present mean? It means being able to fully comprehend their goals, dreams, needs, fears and apprehensions so that in that moment the advisor can respond in a way to maximize the chances of a successful outcome (i.e. action completed with one step closer to the goal set out in the plan.)
Capturing the goals and linking how the individual actions relate to goal is one way to help get them there. Clients often ask for simple, easy to understand words and visuals. Financial Plan documents are clunky and much needed documents to refer to on a occasional basis. To instill change, the financial advisor must make it understandable, at the level of the client’s comprehension.
Making it easy for clients to understand what they need to do, how they do it, takes skills from the advisor to motivate change. But encouraging them, making it simple to understand and not overwhelming, goes a long to help ensure client engagement. Make sure that you, as their financial “quarterback”, follows through on your end to make changes on behalf of your client’s life, ensures lifetime of trust in the client-advisor relationship.
And that’s what the #1 tried and tested way to drive a referral. Learn how you can drive referrals by telling powerful Financial Stories for your Clients, join your mailing list here: