New clients have meticulously assessed you, from scouring through reviews and your online reputation to evaluating the aesthetics of your website and the organization of your workspace. Now that their assets are under your care, everything you do as an advisor, from account openings to product recommendations, ultimately hinges on one fundamental element: trust. Trust is the cornerstone upon which clients can confidently entrust you with their financial decisions.
However, trust is not something that emerges overnight and can be a precious commodity when dealing with new clients. Establishing trust right from the beginning lays the foundation for a stronger advisor-client relationship and increased client loyalty. It’s worth keeping in mind that trust is the currency that facilitates the most effective way to expand your client base – through referrals.
In this article, we will explore four key strategies to effectively build trust with new clients.
Follow Through on Commitments
The foundation of building trust is simple: do what you say you will do. In the business world, this is known as a say-do ratio. The goal for advisors is to keep that ratio at 1:1, which translates to “doing everything you say you will do.” Broken promises and empty action plans can quickly destroy trust. If a new client can’t trust that you will even call when you promise or send a form like you said you would, how can they trust you to operate with their best financial needs in mind?
A study by Vanguard found clients are more likely to trust their advisors when they believe their functional, emotional and ethical needs are met. Put into practice, clients want advisors who do what they say they will do, act in the client’s best interests, and make decisions that allow the client to sleep well at night. Reliability and maintaining commitments builds trust.
Listen… Yes, Actually Listen
Trust requires building a foundational relationship and listening to the other person to build rapport. Put simply, new clients are more likely to trust you when they know you care about them. That becomes evident in how well you listen to them.
One survey found that 25% of financial clients said they would leave their advisor because of a lack of “personal connection.” Modern clients don’t just want someone who will move their money around — they want an advisor who cares about them, provides personalized recommendations, and has their best interests in mind. That starts with listening to new clients and fully understanding their life stage, worries, financial goals, and future plans. This is especially true for younger clients who want advisors to act as sounding boards. Listening to clients is a surefire way to build trust.
Provide Clear and Authentic Updates
New clients are likely unaware of your processes or how you do business. If you’re working on something behind the scenes, such as a new account opening, they may think you’ve dropped the ball or haven’t followed through on your promise. Be as transparent as possible as you walk them through every step and provide authentic and open updates.
New clients trust you with their finances and financial futures — a step that takes courage and vulnerability. To match that level of trust, you need to keep them updated to reassure them that their money is safe and you are aware of their situation. Being transparent and staying in touch shows that you have nothing to hide and are continually working for your clients.
Don’t Put Client Data at Risk
Building trust with new clients is more than just saying the right things and building relationships. You also have to prove that trust through your actions, including investing in technology and resources to protect your clients’ accounts and personal information. Cybersecurity attacks abound today, and it can be scary for new clients to hand their personal information over to an advisor. But when you invest in quality systems that not only protect client data but also keep it organized and easy to access, you’re showing clients that their data security matters to you. The Edelman Trust Barometer shows that consumers overwhelmingly trust technology over any other industry, which means that adding robust technology and data protection can also increase advisor trust.
Clients trust their advisors more when they see that data security is a priority. Docupace is a powerful tool for building trust with new clients because it streamlines data management in a secure, cloud-based system. It creates efficient back-office solutions and provides clients with peace of mind that their data is protected and secure.
In the realm of financial advisory, trust is the bedrock upon which your firm’s success is built, fostering enduring client relationships and unwavering loyalty. PreciseFP stands as your trusted ally in delivering a seamless and reliable client experience. By digitizing what was once a laborious, in-person data collection process, we empower your clients to complete it on their own terms, at their own convenience. Ready to enhance trust and efficiency in your practice? Begin your complimentary 7-day trial of PreciseFP by clicking here today.