Implement these client communication tips to improve relationships within your financial advisor practice.
Every financial advisor wants better relationships with his or her clients. And while being a whiz at investment management or tax strategies is vital depending on your clientele, your skills when it comes to finance won’t build a strong relationship if your communication abilities are lacking. Luckily, there are numerous client communication tips that you can begin to implement in your professional relationships.
We will dive into a few of the most important below, but there are a few key aspects to look at before moving forward. This involves asking critical questions when first engaging with a client: “ What does this client need/what does he or she value? And, how do I provide this to the client in a way they comprehend?”
Some financial advisors have unfortunately learned the hard way – they are not entirely sure what the client wants or values (either through miscommunication or the client being unsure of this answer), and even though the advisor is presenting a strategy or plan in a way he or she understands, the client might still be confused. In these cases, both the client and the advisor can end up frustrated and the professional relationship might end. So, how can this outcome be prevented? Here are four tips on client communication best practices to consider:
Build that human connection.
It’s an awkward scene when sitting down with a client initially and immediately getting into finances, goals and strategies. A human connection must be created, and this can be done while also keeping a professional tone. Use the ‘general then specific’ approach. This means making general conversation first, such as the client telling you a little about him or herself, their interests, etc. Through this conversation, you might find there is common ground or interests between you and the client. Use this to continue the conversation moving forward. Once you have spoken for a while and feel more comfortable with one another, then you can move into specifics – such as the client’s needs and desires, your knowledge and expertise, how you can help the client, and so on.
Use your brand to drive communication.
Every financial advisor represents his or her very own brand and areas of passion and expertise. You might cater to Millennials or single mothers, or perhaps you deal with high-wealth clients. Maybe your practice’s mission involves being consistent, trustworthy, or it might be more focused on technology-related advisor components. Whatever makes up your practice, use words that reflect it when communicating with clients. This ensures they are continually being told what to expect when working with you and it can also help them decide if your practice is what they are ultimately looking for.
Implement a variety of communication channels.
There are multiple ways to communicate with clients that involve both traditional and nontraditional avenues. Consider implementing a variety of channels in your overall strategy, as each client will connect with different modes of communication. Options to consider include email, newsletters, direct mailings, landing pages, presentations, blogs, online face-to-face meetings, social media, videos, text messages, print documents, and brochures. You can even have a quick survey ready that allows new clients to tell you which modes of communication they prefer, keeping you a step ahead of the game!
Discover your client’s priorities.
Prevent communication issues in the future by learning as much as you can about each client and discovering his or her priorities. You can even consider implementing this unique system used by some financial advisors; this system consists of professional flash cards that each depict a potential financial goal. |
These cards can range from funding a college education and buying a new home to saving for retirement, paying for a wedding, paying down debt, building a budget, or getting started in investments. After getting to know your client more during your initial conversation, you can ask him or her to arrange the cards into piles that make up high priority goals and other areas they aren’t interested in or that have low priority. This simple method is powerful regarding the crucial information it provides, and how it helps you move forward to create the right strategy for your new client.
These are just a few client communication tips that you can start implementing right away. You can learn about more client-related topics such as how to deal with challenging clients or increase referrals by visit www.SummitBrokerage.com.
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About Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.
Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.
About Cetera Financial Group
Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera”) is a leading network of independent retail broker-dealers empowering the delivery of objective financial planning advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions. Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.
Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations. Independent financial advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and financial planning and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology. For more information, visit www.ceterafinancialgroup.com.
*”Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of retail independent broker-dealers encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities, and Summit Brokerage Services.
All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy.
Content created by Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.