As the new year looms ever closer many clients begin to contemplate their future and begin to wonder if they are on the right fiscal path. This, coupled with the recent uncertainty in the marketplace, makes it the perfect time for financial consultants to evaluate their relationships with clients and look for ways to strengthen them. One of the best ways to bolster that connection is to meet with clients and construct a plan for moving forward together, rather than simply prescribing one for them.
While it’s your job as a financial advisor to manage your client’s assets, they can often become disillusioned with you when they only hear about the performance of individual investment accounts from you. They start failing to see the forest through the trees. By getting their input to draw out a plan collaboratively you can help ensure they remain focused on the big picture and keep them from getting spooked at the first sign of adversity. Here are a few ways to get them to take on a shared ownership of their investment plan.
Defining risk – Before you can really get down to devising a plan with your client it is important to really get across the levels of risk versus reward associated with different investment strategies. By getting them to accept these facts early on and choose what they’re comfortable with, you can get them to shoulder some of the responsibility and avoid having all the blame placed on you later if something goes awry.
Show while you tell – In this age of omnipresent technology everyone is becoming much more visual creatures, including clients. Whether by having huge flat screens in your conference room to show investment data, or utilizing planning software to show scenarios, if you and your client are looking at the same thing as you go over options it’s going to be easier to keep them actively engaged in the planning process.
Educate them – To the layperson, some actions of a financial advisor may seem counterintuitive. By educating them on things such as holding steady on an investment until the markets hit their next inevitable upswing you can help them fight their gut reaction and keep them on the same page as you.
The Same Team
By working with your clients to create a plan together it causes a shift in their mindset from a client-advisor relationship to a team mentality. They feel as they co-authored a plan that you are then carrying out on their behalf. When they believe that they had a real hand in the design of the plan, they will have far more confidence in everything you do for them.
At Summit Brokerage we understand that keeping your clients happy is your number one priority, and we are dedicated to providing you with all the tools and support you need to do so. With one of the highest advisor retention rates in the business, Summit is the ideal place for those who want the freedom of being an independent financial advisor while still having the advantage of the finest support structure in the industry.
For more information on Summit Brokerage Services, visit www.joinsummit.com or contact us at (800) 354-5528.
Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group, RCS Capital Corporation’s (NYSE: RCAP) retail investment advice platform.
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