Posts Tagged ‘Concer’
Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
This month, my column in Investment Executive highlights important takeaways from ten successful advisor who spoke at the recent Top Advisor Summit.What was especially striking was how consistently these themes were repeated by advisors with disparate backgrounds and a broad range of firms.
Advisors looking to move through the current tough times could do far worse than focus on the five common messages that came out of the Summit
Lesson One: Deal with all of your clients’ financial issues
Many clients want and need more than investment advice alone and benefit from advisors who take a whole wealth approach.
By taking a whole wealth approach, advisors can add substantial value to the relationship. You’ll build deeper relationships and increase the chances you are the primary advisor, so insulate yourself from competition and possible pricing pressure. And since clients are happier, you’ll feel better about the work you do and increase the chances of referrals.
Lesson Two: Make a financial plan the cornerstone of your client relationships
A number of the speakers talked about the positive impact of having a written plan in place in maintaining peace of mind for clients during periods of market turmoil such as we’ve seen of late — being able to show them that things are not as dire as they fear and that they’re still okay can be a huge relief.
In the words of one speaker,” never forget that he who owns the plan owns the relationship.”
Lesson Three: Put strategies in place to ensure clients feel listened
Another recurrent theme was how important it is to get anxious clients to open up about their mood and to ensure that they feel listened to.
One speaker talked about a conversation with his brother, a psychiatrist, who counseled him not to reassure clients that they shouldn’t be worrying. When clients are bombarded by negative headlines, it’s natural that they be concerned. To build a bond of trust, advisors need to hear those concerns out, to tell clients that they’re not alone and that their concerns are understandable …. and then to go on to bring context and perspective to the situation.
A number of advisors also talked about using client advisory boards to obtain structured feedback on an ongoing basis.
Lesson 4: Bring focus to your business
All the speakers had achieved considerable success — and listening to them reinforced the importance of bringing focus to your business. One talked about the impact of bringing a full-time Vice President Operations on board so that he and his partner could concentrate on building out their retirement planning practice. Another team described the many hours invested in creating a comprehensive “owner’s manual” that every client receives — and that is also a powerful tool in talking to prospective clients.
And two others described their exclusive focus on business owners and some of the positive implications of this decision on their ability to serve those clients extraordinarily well.
Lesson 5. Remember that little things truly matter
In markets like these, it’s easy to overlook some of the small touches when dealing with clients — these can range from remembering birthdays to inquiring about a client’s grandchildren. And yet, remarkably often, it’s not the big things that clients notice and remember, it’s the little things.
One speaker talked about buying $5 Starbucks cards with her name on them — and looking for opportunities to send these out to clients with a thank you note. Whether it’s thanking them for sending in an RESP contribution for their children or for taking the time to come into her office for a meeting, she has the goal of sending these out whenever she can. In her talk she discussed the very positive response she’s received to these cards, well beyond what would seem merited by a $5 investment.
To read the entire column and see detailed coverage of all of the presentations, click: Top advisors share common themes from InvestmentExecutive.com
Tags: Brother, Client Relationships, Concer, Cornerstone, Disparate Backgrounds, Investment Advice, Investment Executive, Market Turmoil, Negative Headlines, Peace Of Mind, Periods, Psychiatrist, Recurrent Theme, Referrals, Relationship, Speakers, Substantial Value, Summit, Takeaways, Tough Times
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