Ask questions, acknowledge your clients’ humanity and do not be afraid to let your own show.
Trust is at the heart of every successful client-advisor relationship. We begin our relationships by convincing prospective clients to trust us with their money. We maintain our relationships by proving that we are still worthy of that trust regardless of how the market is affecting our clients’ portfolios. We deepen those relationships by continuing to communicate and listen to our clients’ needs.
Trust is everything to a financial advisor. You could have a Ph.D. from an Ivy League school, a long and storied career in some of the best firms on Wall Street, and an encyclopedic knowledge of finance and investing, but you could still fail as an advisor if prospective clients don’t trust that you’ll act in their best interests.
So, the question is, how do you build trust with clients?
My father used to say that everyone’s favorite topic is themselves. He wasn’t far off.
A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review (recounted in this video from a speaking event with Brandan Frazier) assembled two groups of people and instructed them to have one-on-one conversations within their respective groups. The first group was told to ask no more than four questions within a 15-minute period. The second group was told to ask at least nine questions in the same amount of time.