You’ve probably already guessed it, but this is more of a “How NOT to” article.
As in any profession, advisors make mistakes, some more costly than others. When you’re working in the service industry, the stakes are high because more than anything else, clients are investing in YOU.
Here are 7 of the most common advisor mistakes that can cost you your clients.
I am a firm believer in building client relationships based on trust and connection. Naturally, that comes with a bit of getting to know your client.
It’s appropriate to learn about their family, hobbies, lifestyle, goals, career, etc., but when advisors become too “chummy” they will inevitably cross the line.
Take cues from your client to know what is “no go” territory. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and always remember your role as an advisor, first.
Another big one. Advisors need to know when to ask questions and supply information, and when to keep quiet.
A simple rule of thumb is to listen more than you speak; ask more than you answer. Remember, the relationship is about your client, not you.
The atmosphere you provide for your client is a direct reflection of your perceived service. You may have all your ducks in a row and be the best financial advisor, but if your office is a mess, clients will shy away.
Disorganization implies laziness, overwhelm and inexperience — all of which you do not want to portray.
Punctuality has been ingrained in us since elementary school, yet people are still late. Tardiness is unacceptable when it comes to client relations. It is a clear indicator that you do not respect the client or their time.
Being late puts into question your work ethic and performance; can clients trust you with their most valuable assets, when you can’t even make it to a meeting on time?
The advisors do the courting, not the other way around. It is your job to keep track of the client’s needs and accounts and to follow up with them periodically.
If there’s a certain document or approval you need from a client, don’t wait for them to supply it — they hired you to get the job done; otherwise, they’d do it themselves.
I can’t stress this enough! In fact, I wrote a whole section about working with spouses in my book. For one reason or another, women are historically put on the back burner when it comes to finances.
Female advisors need to be especially wary of not minimizing the wife, even if they seem disinterested or sidelined. Working with a couple means working with BOTH parties and you need to gain BOTH of their trust, to be successful.
Your primary goal as a financial advisor is always to help the client. If your goal is to sell, earn or charge the most; if your main motivator is personal gain, you’re in the wrong line of work.
Never lose sight of the purpose of your job; a client-first perspective will earn a better reputation, happier clients, and more referrals.
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