Because of the shift toward relationship-centric business, building trust is your Number One priority. It is the foundation that new business is built on today – not the reputation of your company, or even your knowledge base. People want to trust you more than they want to hear what you know. Here’s what they look for:
- Authenticity – Being true to one’s own personality, spirit or character, despite pressures. Living one’s life according to the needs of one’s inner being, rather than the demands of society or early conditioning. Authenticity leads us to open up and share, and through our shared experiences and stories, clients begin building trust and confidence in both your ability and your sincere desire to do what is right for your clients.
- Transparency – No hidden agendas. Full disclosure of all features and fees on products and investments, and full disclosure as it relates to your experience, areas of expertise and capabilities. Knowing what you will and will not do, and your sense of integrity are critical to building solid relationships that stand the test of time.
- Education – Blind trust is a relic of the past. Today, clients want to understand their decisions before they make a commitment, and they expect their Advisor to take the time to discuss concepts and strategies.
- Personal Relationship – While clients used to identify with the firm they worked with, now they identify with the Advisor. The personal connection has grown more significant than the brand.
- Communication – Clients expect quick and easy access to news and information, and they look to their Advisor to filter out the noise. They want regular communications regarding the markets, the economy and their portfolio.
- Value – It must be tangible to you and your clients. Performance is a given; but what value do bring to those you work with? How are their lives better as a result of your work?
- Ethics – A word that has slipped through the margins of profits, it is coming back to the forefront. Understanding the values and principles you live by and how those principles are applied to your business sets the bar for what the client can expect.
- Partnership – Collaboration is now mandatory. As an advisor, you have a responsibility to engage every client, regardless of his or her desire or interest. Working with them means understanding them.