Prioritise your clients’ best interest
Trust and customer satisfaction are essential for financial advisers. For an industry that relies – to a large extent – on word of mouth for referrals, clients need to be more than satisfied. Clients need to be enthused. And that’s because you are dealing with something very sensitive – people’s money.
Financial advice is all about understanding investors’ motives. What are your client’s goals and why do they want to meet those goals? What makes them happy? How do they spend their time? If you understand what they are trying to achieve, you can offer solutions that get them there sooner, or even improve on what they’re trying to achieve.
Capturing soft data like this delivers essential detail that builds a bigger picture. If someone doesn’t just explain to you that they want 50% of their salary in retirement, but why they want that much and what they want to do with it, you can build a better relationship and offer a more comprehensive financial plan.
Having a closer relationship with your clients can also demonstrate that the advice given is appropriate. For example, a client may want to buy health insurance while saying they are in good health. Further investigation might reveal there is a family history of illness which has motivated their interest. This can then influence their wider financial plan.
Conversations around these topics can be difficult to have. However, advisers prepared with the right questions and equipped with a better insight into the lives of their clients will be better placed to provide support. If you don’t have these conversations, you’re less likely to build support.
You also need to be able to challenge and discuss the answers clients provide. Why do they feel a certain way? How do they think a solution might resolve their problems? The adviser is there as the expert and clients need confidence that they are being guided, not placated.