Financial Advisors – How to Build Lasting Client Relationships – 3 Keys
As a financial advisor, one of your key concerns is the quality of your client relationships. (And though this article is written with financial advisors in mind, the principles apply to any business, because all sales–especially in financial services–are built on relationships.)
The higher quality your relationships with clients, the better your practice will fare. How can you build relationships with clients that last a lifetime? Here are three keys:
1. It’s not about you. It’s about your client. Everything that transpires in the client relationship is about the client’s goals, dreams, aspirations. You are the one who is choosing to serve the client in becoming clear about what they want and about how to get there. As a professional, it’s not about you, it’s all about your client. Make this very clear in your client interactions, that you are there to serve them and get them to their goals and dreams.
Miss this one and many a potential client will walk out your door and never return.
2. Build trust. I cannot emphasize this one too much. Yet, I’m amazed at how many professionals goof on the little things that build trust. For example:
If you tell your client you will call her with an answer to her question on Monday at 12 noon, you’d better be dialing her number at 11:59 AM. Be OVER-PUNCTUAL.
If your client meeting is at 4:00 PM, be in place, ready for the meeting at 3:45 PM.
If your client asks you to call a friend whom they are referring to you, and you say that you’ll call that person that day, yet on your way out the door that evening you realize you didn’t call the referral, it’s time to turn around and go back into your office to fulfill your commitment.
These are the little ways trust builds. Rest assured, clients are watching EVERYTHING, even when you don’t think they are.
You want to be so reliable, trust-worthy and committed to your word that your clients can set their watch by you. If you’re not like that, tighten up.
3. Under-promise and over-deliver. This was a mantra for us as financial advisors. Under-promise and over-deliver. No one ever gets mad when you do more than you say you will, or when your service wows the clients off their feet. However, if you promise something and don’t deliver, that’s a problem.
How can you consistently under-promise and over-deliver? One way is by always building in a time buffer for yourself. If you think a project will take 3 days to complete, give yourself 5 days to have it done. If you think you’ll have the client’s answer by 12 noon, tell them you’ll call them by close of business that day. Always giving yourself a buffer of extra time allows you to consistently under-promise and over-deliver.
Hopefully these keys are supportive in helping you build lasting client relationships. Several years after having sold my financial planning practice, many of my clients are good friends to this day. You can experience the same… high quality relationships that last a lifetime.