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Why Advisors Need to Become Raving Fans for Their Clients

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We hear a lot about turning our clients into raving fans for us, but we also must remember to be raving fans for our clients.

I’ll never forget two minutes before my Olympic final, Artie Shaw, who was the secretary for FINA, the world governing body for swimming, and also somebody from my home club in New Zealand, came up to me, and he said, “I just wanted to let you know, I’ve specifically requested that I present the medals for the Men’s 200 Meters Backstroke,” which was my event. He then started walking off and turned back to me, and he said, “I’ll see you in five minutes,” which was really cool because I was about to enter the cauldron of that Olympic final, and here was somebody letting me know, “I’m in your corner. I’m with you.” – right up until the very moment took place!

As financial advisors, we have to do the same with our clients: we need to become raving fans for our clients, not just in the financial aspects of their lives, but for their overall lives, for their total, holistic wellbeing. Yes, we provide a lot of value with the investment management piece, and to a larger extent, the financial planning component. But that’s done today by the robo space on the investment management piece, and they are encroaching now into the financial planning piece.

You need to position yourself in your clients’ lives as a huge advocate for them, for more things than just their finances – for them as people. Let them see you’re in their corner for them as a friend. Deepen that relationship to where when they think of encouragement, when they think of an advocate, their minds immediately go to you.

You need to be encouraging them about their health, [for instance]. Bob Veres had a great article in Advisor Perspectives recently about setting aside the financial planning piece of the initial interview with them and asking the client, “Tell me about your health goals for this year, for the next two years.” “Tell me about the downtimes that you spend, the times when you relax and recover and whom you most enjoy spending that time with.” “And, what do you have planned with that person for later on this year, for quality time?” [These are] really insightful questions that start deepening that relationship and showing the client you’re far more interested in them over and above their finances. You want to get to know them as people and really want to have [positive] impact and influence in their lives for them as people first.

Imagine that lady going to her coffee group, mentioning to her friends, “I have an advisor who asks me from time to time how often I’m going to the gym and if I’m seeing an improvement there.” Or that guy who goes to a Saturday morning men’s church group saying, “I have an advisor who is actually encouraging me to go out fishing with my son and wants me to set three goals to go out on dates with my son for the next six months.” That’s going to set you apart and be hard to emulate.

So,

  1. You have to make the decision to do this – to really get involved in your clients’ lives, over and above just their finances.
  2. You have to build out a repertoire of questions so that when you’re talking with that client, you’re truly getting to know them and getting to know their aspirations and then understanding how you can be a positive influence to help them get them there.
  3. Let them know ahead of time this is what you’re going to do. “I want you in the best health to achieve those financial aspirations and enjoy them as much as possible. I want you to be as fit and healthy as possible when you come to retire. I want your family relationships to be so deep that no matter what we can afford when it comes to family time, everybody wants to get involved and be around you. These are the things that truly count, and these are the types of goals I help my clients achieve.”That’s how to say it to them so that you become an integral part, not just of their financial wellbeing, but of their total, overall lives. That’s providing real value.

I look forward to bringing you another Distraction-Proof Advisor Idea next week.

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