Here are simple ways to determine if you are really listening to your clients. Make the change now!
Setting the stage for a productive meeting is integral to not only hearing, but also actively listening to your client.
Be sure to choose a quiet, secluded spot — not a busy hotel lounge, congested office space or coffee shop.
In a room full of noises and distractions, it can be hard to stay focused and absorb the information your client is sharing with you.
For the client, it also demonstrates your total commitment to them and their needs, when you make it a point to choose a quiet spot. The same goes for calls or phone conferences.
Ask probing questions to understand what your client desires, then repeat it back to them. This is a great mechanism for not only comprehending yourself but also demonstrating to the client you are on the same page.
Break down their needs step-by-step so that you can gain a deeper understanding of the scope of their desires.
There will inevitably be some clients who know exactly what they want and the means to get there but need a professional to handle the execution.
If a client believes they want “X,” offer comparable solutions that may better serve their needs.
If you have a solution or service which will undoubtedly be more beneficial to your client than what they’ve requested, show them why your solution is in their best interest.
Even if the client opts for another route, it shows you are engaged and interested in offering them the best possible service.
A client may have an elaborate, fanciful and utterly unrealistic desire, but to them, it is very real and important.
There’s nothing more patronizing than telling your client, flat out their desire simply won’t happen. Instead, incorporate their expectations into what you can realistically do for them.
A great financial planner will always find a way to satisfy their clients, although it may take a bit of creativity and collaboration along the way — which leads us into our next point…
Making decisions should be something you do with your client, not for them. Include them every step of the way, asking for their input and confirming they’re comfortable with each decision.
Don’t be afraid to ask your client for suggestions either — it shows you have their best interest in mind and value their involvement and input. Financial planning isn’t one size, fits all matter.
If you’re like me, you may not actually be interacting with your clients, at all. I very rarely meet or speak with clients — my team handles the majority of day-to-day operations, including client relations.
To understand if my clients are truly satisfied and having their needs met, I have to consult my team.
Ask your team for their observations regarding customer behavior; look at what is working, what is not working and how you can streamline or improve the client experience to increase satisfaction.
As leaders, you must instill a great deal of trust in your team, as they’re your eyes and ears on the ground.
Finally, go straight to the source — ask your client for feedback. Are they pleased with your service; are there opportunities for improvement; would they recommend you to others?
Acknowledge the truth is there, you just have to be willing and open to hearing it. If you are fearful of client feedback, you may not be as receptive to reality, and thus not able to grow or improve your business.
Another consideration is your means of collecting feedback; face-to-face may not produce the most candid replies, where an online or paper feedback survey gives clients the opportunity to put more consideration into their replies and be as transparent, as possible.
We’ve all experienced the sheer joy and satisfaction of pleasing our customers, but to get there, we must be attentive, open and creative.
So, are you really listening to your customers?
If you want to learn more about my experience building a Seven Figure Firm, download a FREE chapter from my book, “Seven Figure Firm: How to Build a Financial Services Business that Grows Itself.”