7 to 17 seconds. According to many research studies that is how long it takes to form a first impression.
This first impression is based 55 percent on appearance, 7 percent on the words we use during course of our conversation and 38 percent on the tone of the voice.
So even before you get sufficient time to demonstrate your abilities, prospects and clients have formed their first impression and created “labels” (serious, fun, blunt, friendly, etc.) about your personality.
The same is true for you as you meet prospects and clients.
Why is it so important for you to prove (or disprove) these first impressions to understand who your customer really is deep beneath the surface?
Because it has major implications for three areas of your business:
- Attracting new clients
- Designing portfolios
- Ongoing service
Attracting new clients is all about the ability for you to quickly build trust. This involves understanding not only your client’s personality, but your own personality strengths and struggles. Are you a natural listener? Are you empathetic or more focused on outcomes? If your style is matched with the prospects, you will build trust with less effort.
When designing a portfolio, many advisors neglect to plan for the financial personality risks. Some clients will envision themselves as bigger risk takers than what they project themselves to be with you. Or, they may say they are a saver when their expense account proves the contrary. Discussions on these subjects are very delicate because many clients do not want to admit (or even know) who they really are a deeper level.
Finally, how can you customize your client experience when you may not even know who your customer really is beneath the surface? You have a lot of different personalities working with you in your office and each one may have to adjust their style to make the client feel truly cared for and understood. Every marketing action should be tailored to the personality of your clients. No need to send a long newsletter filled with market data and facts to your “big picture” clients. Are you looking for more referrals? Certain types of clients are much more likely to give them to you if you know their personality.
Is there a way you can know a customer within the first meeting, or even better beforehand? Or, do you need to wait a year to observe whether their actions and words match to find out who they really are?
Dare to get beneath the surface with your clients. Discover practical and actionable behavioral solutions that you can use with your clients to uncover who they are to create unique customized experiences.
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