When a client takes you on, they’ve decided they’re comfortable getting into a long-term relationship with you – and that’s a huge compliment. If you want to retain them, you must work hard to maintain the integrity of that relationship over the long term.
Don’t make one of these errors, or you could end up in the firing line.
When you first sit down with clients, make sure you’re both on the same page regarding their expectations. Many advisors make the mistake of believing their clients are seeking high returns – when in fact they’re generally happy to simply beat the bank. If you overpromise, then fail to deliver on your promises, clients will lose faith in your abilities and look elsewhere.
#2. Not ensuring that clients stick to the plan
It’s down to you to help clients make the right decisions and stick to the plan. Unless you act fast to combat their emotions when the markets are down, they could decide to cash in and leave.
When the markets take a tumble, remind clients that the Dow is on a continual trend upwards. Illustrate this by showing them what the Dow was on the day they were born, the day they graduated and the day they got married. Then tell them to ignore incessant bad news about the markets. Explain to them calmly that the markets will be turbulent from time to time but over the long term they will come out ahead.
#3. Failing to deliver 5-star service
As a financial advisor your biggest differentiator is your service. People will stay loyal to you if you provide them with an outstanding experience. Make it your aim to deliver such legendary service that your clients wouldn’t consider going anywhere else.
If you truly look out for your clients’ best interests – and care more than you’re expected to care – there’s little chance of you getting fired. Go out of your way to help your clients in all areas of their lives, even if it takes up more of your time – because it will secure their trust and their business for the long term.
#4. Becoming complacent
The number one reason financial advisors get fired is because of poor communication, a lack of communication that could be down to apathy or complacency. If a client feels they are no longer receiving personalized service, they will feel offended and likely to take their business elsewhere.
Make your clients feel important by calling and asking them what you could do differently to improve your service. Do this regularly as part of a scheduled survey. Ask whether you’re providing the right type of communication, or if there’s any new service they’d like to see. They’ll be pleased you respect their opinion – and you might learn something useful.
Always return calls promptly – a recent survey by Financial Advisor magazine revealed that 66% of baby boomers would fire an advisor who didn’t return calls promptly.
If you need help building and managing the relationship with clients, get the mp3 compilation, Mastering Client Relationships: What Elite Advisors Do.
5. Having a ‘one size fits all’ mentality
A common reason why advisors get fired is because clients feel their advisor doesn’t understand their goals well enough – and is therefore not giving them the right advice.
Be aware that you cannot be all things to all people, dealing with whoever happens to walk in your door. Base your business around your personal strengths, using your specialist knowledge and background. For example, decide whether you should work with retirees or the young, conservative types or risk takers.
If you don’t have a specialist area, you’ll find it far more difficult to fully understand your clients’ needs and aspirations well enough.
Develop an ideal client profile and stick with it, and you’ll develop an unparalleled level of competency in dealing with that type of person. You’ll come to know your niche’s challenges and solutions inside out and be able to consistently deliver great advice thereby earning your clients’ loyalty.
It’s tough losing a client – especially if you worked hard to attain them and they were a good fit for your business. You won’t lose clients if you keep them focused on their objectives and steadfast in their belief that you are the right person to make these objectives happen.
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