One of the most essential components to maintaining a healthy client relationship is trust. Although trust isn’t something tangible, it is the single most important attribute for both acquiring new clients and retaining them. The moment that trust starts to sour in a client relationship is the moment you will start to lose their business. So how can advisors prevent this core aspect of their client relationship from going wrong?
Maintain a Consistent Line of Communication
First and foremost, advisors have to make sure they are continuing to have multiple touch points with their clients throughout the year; even when it’s not completely necessary. You don’t always need a good reason to reach out to your client and see how they are doing. By regularly keeping in contact with your clients, you will make them feel more comfortable and at ease about having real conversations with you. This can pay dividends down the road when those same clients may get emotional regarding the accounts they hold with you.
Another reason why frequent communication can be vital for building trust is because it shows your client that you care. If the only time you contact a client is to sell them a product, it is more likely than not your client could potentially start questioning your intentions. While it is very important to talk with them regarding their accounts and new potential strategies regarding the investments you manage for them, it is also important to learn more about them and their particular fears and concerns.
Be Transparent About Fees and Exposure
The reality is that transparency can also go a long way in allowing you to establish deeper and more trustworthy relationships with your client.
With the new DOL Fiduciary rule on the near horizon, the importance of being transparent will have an even greater role in the financial services industry. It will be important to explain these new rules and the changes they will represent in how clients will be handled going forward. Under these new guidelines, it will be more important than ever that your clients clearly understand what kind of fees and exposure they can expect, as well as illustrating to them how and why you have determined the best product suited for them and their particular situation. Of course, with or without these scheduled new transparency regulations, as we all know, it is always better to be upfront about everything early on rather than having to potentially deal with an unhappy client down the road.
Get More Personal
Getting more personal with your clients is one of the greatest ways to establish trust. While for most advisors this is not really hard to accomplish, it is important to remember that there is a proper time and place in regards to being personal and being professional. Once you know your client on a personal level, make sure to take note of all the small things that are important to them. Send them a handwritten birthday card, an anniversary gift (if applicable) or even a thank you letter. The idea is to break the mold of being just their advisor. Connecting with them on a deeper level is a great way to show them you care.
Host Annual Appreciation Events
Another way to make clients feel appreciated and build more trust is by hosting client appreciation events. A simple get together invite for them and their spouse at a local restaurant venue makes for the perfect forum to help you show off your more personal side; helping you to connect with them on a personal level while still maintaining your professional appearance. These events not only allow you to show your personal side, they can also make your clients feel a special connection and great appreciation for your kind gesture in inviting them to attend these events.