It can take many years before clients come to know you and trust you, and during this time you’ll need to work hard to win them over. In order to earn their trust, you’ll need to demonstrate exemplary behavior and deliver a service that goes above and beyond.
But that’s not where it ends. It may have taken you years to build up trust but it takes just seconds to break it down. Just one slip and all that hard-won trust is gone forever. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by avoiding the following behaviors.
Likeability and trustworthiness are characteristic shared by all elite Advisors, and with the mp3 compilation, Mastering Client Relationships: What Elite Advisors Do, you’ll master the soft skill and art form relationship building really is.
#1. Being inconsistent
When you talk to clients always be consistent. If you steadfastly deliver the same message in the same way, then over time you will create accountability. If you say one thing one minute – and another the next – clients will lose confidence in your abilities.
Regularly impress upon clients the importance of sticking to the plan and they will get the point over time. Stick to your guns, keep delivering the same message and remain upbeat, and clients will retain their confidence in you.
And when it comes to consistency remember that clients pay attention to what you do as much to what you say. If you don’t call when you say you will, you will destroy your clients’ trust in you. It’s all too easy to get waylaid by things beyond your control but make sure you don’t break your promises. Always turn up on time to meetings and answer emails promptly.
There will be times you can’t deliver but make these times few and far between. Overpromising is one of the biggest mistakes advisors make.
If you over-promise and under-deliver this will destroy your clients’ trust in you. Only promise to deliver what you know you can deliver. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to please too much.
Every time you overpromise you will underperform. For instance, be sure to frame past performance properly. Remember that people aren’t looking for exceptional returns. They generally simply want to beat the bank.
If you’re looking for ideas on stories and phrases to use with clients when preparing them for what long-term investing really is, get the mp3, Simple Truths for Investors.
#3. Demonstrating a lack of leadership
If you lack faith in the stock market, this will come across to clients. In uncertain times they need to be reassured that equities are the right place to put their money. If you falter, and don’t awaken or re-affirm your clients’ optimism in the market, they are likely to be swayed by adverse media opinion.
Your job is to counsel clients when times are tough, so be attentive and let them know you are in charge of the situation. Then they won’t feel they’ve made a mistake by putting their trust in you. Don’t ad lib in these situations – always prepare in advance for when the markets are volatile, so you can be ready and speak with confidence.
#4. Offering sparse communication
Clients lose trust in advisors who don’t call. If you fail to communicate with your clients, they will get the message that you don’t care. If some big news hits, you need to get on the phone and let them know that you’re monitoring the situation and have their interests top of mind.
To maintain the relationship, be consistent with how you communicate. It’s far better to call too much rather than not at all. And make yourself available for their phone calls, too – don’t let them have to chase you down. If they feel you’re avoiding them, they will begin to distrust you.
#5. Never admitting you’re wrong
Everyone is wrong from time to time. Nobody knows everything. If you won’t put your hand up and admit that you’re not completely sure from time to time, clients will sense you’re not telling them the truth. If you make a mistake, don’t cover it up, or your relationship with clients will suffer. Don’t avoid the hard conversations – tell the truth when it needs to be told.
Your clients trusted you enough to do business with you in the first place. But the only thing that will keep them trusting you is to offer them great service. This involves maintaining consistency both in what you say and what you do, and demonstrating strong communication skills. If you can get clients to like and trust you, you should congratulate yourself – but be mindful that to keep the trust you need to continue to offer great service.
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