As a financial advisor, you’re most likely excellent with numbers, but communication might not come as easily to you.
Poor communication can mean mis-communication, not listening to clients needs, or not communicating for long periods of time.
When communication between clients and financial advisors is great, it leads to a long and fruitful partnership. When communication isn’t great, that’s when clients tend to jump ship.
Here are 10 tips to help you improve your communication with clients.
1. Build rapport - find a personal connection
One of the best things you can do to help communication with clients is to build rapport with them. You can do this by finding a personal connection.
You might both have similar aged children, have pet dogs, be interested in surfing, or avid Survivor fans. Whatever it is, finding a way to connect on a personal level is key
Having common interests is a great way to get to know your clients better, and it also gives you something to talk about during ‘small talk’, which is common at the beginning of meetings. Talking about your love of fishing is more interesting than the weather.
2. Active listening - understand your clients needs
Active listening is the art of showing that you are listening, and genuinely listening. An example of active listening is nodding your head and hearing what your client is saying, instead of thinking about your response while your client is talking.
A great way to demonstrate active listening is to repeat what your client is saying to ensure you fully understand it. You should also ask questions and dig deeper.
The more you know about your client, the greater understanding you have of their needs. This allows you to serve them better because you know what they want and how you can deliver those results.
3. Share Resources & News
Communicating with clients doesn’t always have to mean calling them about their portfolio performance. Instead, you can add value by sharing resources and news that is relevant to them, or something that they would find interesting.
Be assured that your client will feel valued and important if they receive an email from you saying, “Hi William, Last time we spoke we were talking about XYZ. I have an article relating to this that you might find interesting. Here’s the link [paste URL].”
Blogs are a great resource to share. Even better if it directs them to visit your website. To help you with writing blogs, there are hundreds of articles in the content library that you can post as is, or you can edit it to add your voice or make it more relevant to your target market.
4. Communicate via social channels
Another way to communicate with clients is via social media channels. For most advisors this will be on LinkedIn or Facebook.
A great thing to post on your social pages are your blog posts. When your client is scrolling through their LinkedIn or Facebook feeds they will see your article, and ideally click on it.
To make this easier, Advisor Websites has automated social publishing. You simply have to tick a box, which automatically posts your new blog article on your connected social media platforms when you publish it on your website.
5. Set a communication cadence
A great way to help communication with clients is to set a cadence around it. For your larger clients this could mean monthly or quarterly meetings, whereas other clients it might be bi-annually or annually.
In addition to meetings, you could also set up monthly emails, sms or phone calls with portfolio updates to ensure your client is up-to-date with the latest information.
Setting meetings is easy to do with Meeting Maker, which integrates with your current calendar platform and embeds onto your website.
6. Communicate correctly - know preferred communication methods
You might prefer to communicate via email or a phone call, yet your client might prefer to hear from you via an sms or WhatsApp message.
Knowing your client’s preferred communication method helps you talk to them the way they like.
7. Prompt follow up
Prompt follow up, especially after a meeting with a client, is essential to help you maintain positive communication.
When you follow through on what you said you’d do, it gives your client confidence in your abilities as a financial advisor.
In addition, if you can’t meet a deadline, communicate that with your client too. Most people are extremely understanding as long as they’re kept in the loop.
8. Speak their language and observe extras
When talking with your client it’s important to speak their language, i.e. don’t use jargon. Make sure you’re using terminology your client understands.
In addition, there are a lot of extras to observe when communicating with clients. Tone and mannerisms may tell a different story to spoken words. If a client is telling you that they understand, but their tone and body language is telling you something else, don’t hesitate to gently ask if they’d like you to explain it further.
9. Be transparent
At the start of this article we mentioned that one of the main reasons people change financial advisors is due to poor communication. Another common reason is due to poor market performance (source: Investopedia).
As a financial advisor you understand that markets naturally rise and fall, but long-term they’re a great investment. Your client might not know or understand this. Even if the numbers aren’t looking good, remain transparent and communicate this with your client.
Transparency builds trust as your client knows you’re not going to hide negative results from them. It also demonstrates that you’re on top of the issue and have an action plan in place.
10. Video - let them see your face
It’s common to rely on email and phone to communicate, but don’t forget the value of letting your client see your face. A great way to do this is to utilize video.
Video allows your client to see your expressions and body language, which add to your tone and the words you’re actually saying. Video can also help explain complex issues.
You can simply record a video on your phone, or even using a screen recording program such as Loom, and send the link to your client in their preferred method.
|Check out 4 Examples of Excellent Homepage Videos by Financial Advisors.|
Happy clients are more likely to stay with you longer, but they’re also more likely to recommend you to family, friends and colleagues. Taking the time to call a client to keep them in the loop can turn into additional clients when they sing your praises to everyone they know.
With these 10 communication tips, you’re able to build and maintain a long-lasting relationship with your clients and grow your business.
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