In a perfect world, clients would always recognize your value as a financial professional by looking at their portfolio balance and seeing how everything you do is acting in their best interest.
But it can never be that easy.
Returns alone can’t tell the story, and some clients aren’t very financially savvy — which is why they came to you in the first place. Often, all it takes is a big drop in the market or a conversation with a friend to set their mind to wondering if you’re doing a good job for them. To that end, developing a strong relationship with clients and understanding what they really want from you can help you attract and retain clients.
In a recent Transamerica Community online poll, we asked members, “How can your financial professional improve?” Twenty-six percent of respondents wanted their financial professionals to demonstrate how they’re always working in their best interests.
Here’s what our Community members told us:
1. Talk to your clients about their health
To novices, it might seem like you’re prying a little too deep into their personal life. But having the health conversation is a great way to show you care about more than just their assets. In fact, in our Community poll, 23% wanted their financial professional to consider their health when building their financial strategy.
Transamerica’s Director of Health, Dr. Bill Lloyd concurs.
“Financial and medical experts agree that wealth and health are inseparable throughout life and in planning for the future,” Lloyd says. “The burden is on the financial professional to start the wealth and health discussion. It’s a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate good faith, in a holistic way, exhibiting their genuine concern for their clients.”
2. Create customized guidance
Every client’s financial situation is unique, which requires unique guidance to match. This starts with listening to their needs, asking the right questions, and catering to their risk tolerances to help them pursue their objectives. It’s also a great opportunity to point out blind spots or holes in their financial strategy. Avoid preconceived notions and cookie cutter approaches. Use your ears to hear what they really want or need and cultivate a relationship built on trust.
3. Keep in touch with them
Sending out a monthly or quarterly newsletter is good but, odds are your clients probably aren’t looking at it. They want to hear from you personally. Whether that’s an email, a phone call, or a text, reach out to your clients and check in. Good communication is the backbone of any relationship, whereas poor communication can end one.
4. Be accessible
From the client’s point of view, there are few things worse than having a financial crisis or needing help and being ignored. Answer your phone and return emails in a timely fashion to ensure clients feel valued. If you’re out of the office, have a support system in place to attend to financial emergencies or questions.
5. Educate them
“Today, a majority of Americans get their financial information off the web,” Lloyd says. “The financial professional has a golden opportunity to play a central role in bringing valuable information to their clients and cultivating the relationship.”
If clients are learning what they need to know from you, and you’re explaining it using everyday language, they have no need to look elsewhere.
Prove you’re on their side
You know you’re doing everything possible to help clients pursue their financial goals. But sometimes they just need to be reminded you’re placing their interests ahead of your own. Try these tips and keep cultivating your client relationships so they never forget your value.
Transamerica Resources, Inc. is an Aegon company and is affiliated with various companies which include, but are not limited to, insurance companies and broker dealers. Transamerica Resources, Inc. does not offer insurance products or securities. The information provided is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as insurance, securities, ERISA, tax, legal or financial advice or guidance. Please consult your personal independent advisors for answers to your specific questions.