The core job function of Financial advisors is not only to provide financial planning and advisory services but also to ensure clients that they can trust them with their most sensitive information. Financial advisors must always display trustworthiness to both obtain and maintain their client’s business. They cannot afford to display behavior that suggests they are not trustworthy in any manner or at any point in their career; to avoid jeopardizing their reputation and client relationships. So how do you build initial trust and maintain it throughout your career? Remember, it takes years to build and establish trust, but only moments to tear it down. If you are a financial advisor, below are some key points on how you can build trust and implement trustworthiness throughout the life of your financial advisory and planning career.
Key Points for Building Trust and Credibility
One way to build trust is to display solid credibility as a financial advisor. This could be done by ensuring clients and potential clients that you are fully capable of providing quality financial planning and advisory services. You can display your proven track record, which allows them to acknowledge your capabilities and industry-based knowledge. This is one of the first key steps towards building trust – get clients to have confidence in you and the trust will follow. On the contrary, however, not having answers to client’s questions, or having little or inadequate industry knowledge can cause clients to doubt your abilities, lose confidence and ultimately lose trust in you as a financial advisor. Your behavior should consist of ways to build trust, not tear it down.
Marketing messages can reinforce trust when the emphasis is placed on your ability to deliver quality, results-driven, financial planning services.
To that end, as a financial advisor, your good reputation should precede you. When clients call or visit your office, they should already have confidence in your financial planning and advisory services.
After you’ve captured their attention and gotten them into the door, it should be easy to continue to prove to them that you are trustworthy.
Key Points for Maintaining Trust
After you've acquired a new client, there are ways to maintain their trust. You must always live up to their expectations – always earning and maintaining trust on an on-going basis.
Showing customers that you're authentic when listening to their concerns and that you're transparent are good ways to maintain trust. Financial advisors who go over and beyond the call of duty, make themselves available and make every effort to keep their promises are also ways make clients feel comfortable about working with you. These qualities will eventually allow you to build a long-lasting bond that's not easily broken.
Once a certain level of trust has been formed, as you continue to do business with clients in an authentic, trustworthy manner, you have earned their unwavering trust that can secure their business for years to come.
It's important that financial advisors don't ever get too comfortable with customers, let their guards down or give them a reason to feel insecure about their abilities. This is where proper marketing and branding can make a significant difference. Marketing and branding efforts that further emphasizes your track record can speak volumes and assist with the trust building efforts. That way, your good reputation will always be before the eyes of your current and potential customers.
Other Ways to Build Trust
There are other ways to build and maintain trust as well. For example, something as a simple as returning phone calls or responding to emails in a timely fashion are gestures that reflect your sincerity and willingness to do whatever it takes to maintain a good reputation.
It’s usually the little things, like not taking the time to return a phone call or an email that causes clients to have a change of heart about you. So it’s up to you to offer a mixture of core elements that create a great balance between:
1. Having sound industry knowledge while making great financial recommendations, and
2. Implementing soft skills that your clients will remember for a lifetime.
To sum up, a financial advisor's job is never done; you will always need to make trust building a normal part of your ongoing job procedure.