10 WAYS TO MANAGE OUR CLIENT’S EXPECTATIONS

We work hard to “get” clients. We work hard to “get” the deal. So what can we do to ensure the clients stay with us for a long time?

I’m sharing with you some of the content I’ve included in lecture 5 for students of a Master’s degree in Financial Planning. Feel free to discuss below, wether you agree with this post or you have a very different view. I’m listening.

1- Be honest from the get go
Even though we’d love to deliver outstanding returns all the time, bullet proof personal protection and perfect wealth management strategies, we have to educate our clients about the unpredictable nature of the financial markets, the insurers’ regular changes to their products and policies, as well as the constant changes in legislation impacting the financial sector.

2- Be in constant communication
Communication is a two way street. From the onset of your relationship with the client, they must understand that, they too have a responsibility to be in constant communication with you, if they want you to provide them with the best options for them at all times.

3- Reporting and progress reports
Drivers need to stay in control, analyticals need reassurance. [I’m referring to social styles as per Dr. David W Merrill and Roger Reid’s research in the 60s] Provide information on what is happening at every step of the way, wether it be in the interview process, in the statement of advice production or in the implementation and service stages.

For drivers, we’ll provide bullet points. For analyticals… a more detailed version will be appreciated. For expressives… don’t forget to put some colour and images in your reports!

What would an amiable prefer in terms of reporting?

On a regular basis, at least quarterly, provide financial reporting on the results, strategies and products implemented with your clients.

4- Clear professional service offer and pricing
Who – Does what – How often – By when – Price – Due date – Guarantees – Disclosures

5- It’s ok to say no:
Several advisers have a strong “amiable” personality type. [Refer to social styles]
Amiables, by definition, love to help others. That’s how they meet their need for contribution.

If you are an amiable, be aware of your desire to “save the world”. It’s ok to want to save the world… but remember:
a) you can only advise your clients on their personal finances

b) if they want your advice, there is a price for it –> no money, no honey

6- Stay grounded
Once you’ve established a strong connection with your clients, they may share very personal challenges unrelated to your scope of authority and competence.

a) Avoid getting caught up in making promises that you can’t deliver on.

b) Keep to financial services available within your authorised scope. Refer to other specialists, with the relevant expertise, to cater to your client’s other needs.

c) Never take sides… guide the clients to finding a suitable compromise for all parties involved in the financial decision

7 – Client vs friend
Don’t fall in the “BBQ” trap!
While remaining friendly, it is important to understand that there is a line in the sand that you can’t cross between having a friendship and the professional relationship you are having with your clients.

It it very challenging to remain compliant if you are providing “friendly” advice (read IMPOSSIBLE AND NON COMPLIANT), as it will most likely not respect the advice process: thorough fact finding, analysis, written recommendations, signed authority to proceed, file notes, disclosures, documentation, etc…. There are severe consequences for your career if you cross the line.

8 – Empathy not sympathy
Sympathy (n 1a) The state of being simultaneously affected with a feeling similar to that of another person …
Source: Oxford dictionary

Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective.

– It’s not about you. It’s about them. Remain empathetic. Allow them the space they need. Let your client stay at the centre of the conversation.

9- Always invoice for your time and your professional advice
This career is how you put food on your table and how you build your own financial independence. Don’t be shy.

When providing financial advice, always:
1- Follow the advice process and put your advice in writing (SoA)
2- Charge for your professional services

You can decide to donate to a charity of your choice in your own time

10- Be an outstanding listener
Be connected, present, attentive, in tune.
Validate your client’s understanding of what you are sharing with them.
Ask for feedback on the concepts and ideas you are bringing to the table.
Validate your understanding of what they are saying… ask them for feedback when you reformulate what they said.

Listen for words, validate meanings, uncover the unspoken, connect with their emotions, pay attention to their body language, question your intuition openly.

Listen for everything.

Hope this helps you, professional adviser, in your ongoing relationship with your precious clients.

Big caring hugs Rockstars!

Nat

More ADVICE – More CLIENTS – Better RETENTION www.oomphgroup.com.au

Creating world class educational content – online courses, tutorials, seminars, workshops, books and talks www.natbinette.com