As an advisor you’re no doubt good with numbers; you’re an objective thinker. But to succeed in this business you also need to be able to create meaningful relationships with your clients
. You need to have not only a high IQ but a high level of EQ (Emotional Intelligence).
According to a study by Harvard Business Review
emotionally connected clients are more than twice as valuable to your business as ‘highly satisfied clients’.
Here are 5 reasons why rather than focusing on their financial plans you should get to know your clients on a personal level.
#1. Emotionally-connected clients will follow your advice
In order to prevent clients from making bad decisions, you need to establish a firm emotional connection with them.
Once clients can see that you truly care about them and their goals, they will trust that you will always give them the right advice.
By developing a strong emotional bond with clients, you can help them weather volatile financial markets. By talking to clients in a language they can understand, you will enable them to grasp the nature of volatility and see that sticking to the plan – under your guidance – is the right thing to do.
#2. Connecting emotionally with clients will make you referable
Once you have established an emotional rapport with clients, they’ll be far more likely to refer you to their friends, family and colleagues.
By establishing an emotional connection you have become trustworthy in their minds.
If clients don’t trust you, they won’t refer you. That’s because they may have a lingering suspicion that you’ll let them down. They’ll be afraid that you will dent their reputation.
That’s why it’s essential not to ‘jump the gun’ and ask for referrals before you’ve demonstrated to them that you’re 100% trustworthy and whole-heartedly committed to their well-being.
Building this level of trust will take time but once you’re in their ‘inner circle’ you can expect to receive unsolicited recommendations.
#3. Emotionally-connected clients are less sensitive to your fees
Ours is a highly commoditized industry so you won’t differentiate yourself based on products. Also, undifferentiated products tend to be price-sensitive.
However price will cease to be an issue if clients can see the value you add to their lives; in fact, they will see that you are worth every penny.
If you can communicate that you fully understand their problems and have the solutions to fix them, clients will not fixate on your fees.
#4. Connecting emotionally with clients is something you can do but robo advisors cannot
The hard, technical side of a financial advisory business can be increasingly left to algorithms and machine-learning.
What a robo-advisor can’t offer however is the opportunity to make emotional connections.
Your clients would rather sit down and have a coffee with you, and talk about their latest game of golf than discuss numbers and products.
That’s something a robo advisor can’t do.
#5. Emotionally-connected clients are less likely to fire you
If you manage to establish a close connection with clients, they will begin to see you as a friend. And people don’t tend to fire their friends.
Becoming emotionally connected to your clients will take time and effort. It will involve far more than simply asking how they are every now and then. It’s about finding out who they really are – uncovering their core values by having personal, in-depth interactions with them.
Always aim to connect with clients on an intuitive level. Instead of asking about their attitude to risk, ask about their fears and their dreams. Instead of talking about numbers and products, talk about how you are going to help them achieve a comfortable retirement.
By using your soft skills and striving to understand your clients’ unspoken emotional needs, you will establish strong emotional ties that will last the distance.
Related: The Right Story at the Right Time Can and Will Tip the Decision in Your Direction