When you’ve been in the business as long as I have you, you realize clients usually have unspoken questions: “Can I trust you?”; “Are you reliable?”; and “Is this your calling or just a job?”, just to name a few.
If you’ve found yourself scratching your head and wondering why a client didn’t follow your plan of action, you should consider the doubts I’ve mentioned. To be a successful financial planner you must have some understanding of psychology.
So much of what we do involves psychology. In my years of practice I’ve identified a few essential concepts when it comes to understanding clients:
These are just a few of my thoughts on the psychology of clients. If you’re interested in a more expansive list, check out my book Seven Figure Firm: How to Build a Financial Services Business that Grows Itself.
Cultivating prospects and satisfying clients denotes looking at the relationship from a psychological perspective. If you can establish a foundation of trust, you have a better chance of turning prospects into clients.
Your greatest competitor aren’t other financial advisors, it’s client stagnation.
In general people fear the unknown. Taking away as much doubt as possible for your clients will leave you in a better position for trust. If you want to see your clients (and prospects) move forward with your guidance, use our trust building tactics in your practice:
Remember how I said people fear the unexpected? If you take the time to really help clients and prospects understand their options then you’re already laying the foundation for more trust. They usually only know as much as you teach them.
Not delivering on your promises is an easy, fast way to lose trust and credibility. If you say you’re going to do something, just do it.
This is an excellent opportunity to develop a more personal relationship with clients. Let them know that you are happy to know them, and you’re there to help. Find out what their interests are and follow up with an activity of interest. For example, if you have a client who loves to travel, invite them to an international food fair. Small gestures like this will make you more relatable. At the same time, it makes clients feel more than just a business goal on your end.
Trust is a two way road. When you put your trust in others, they generally reciprocate by putting their trust in you. Let a client know that you have confidence in their decision-making, and you’re there to help with anything they need.
Financial planning is foreign territory to most people. Let clients know what to expect with a clearly defined planning process—by showing them what is coming you’ll reduce stress and uncertainty.
Incorporating these ideas into your financial planning approach will go a long way. Your clients will thank you and your business will too!
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