The only valid purpose of a firm is to create a customer.
Wise words written by management guru Peter Drucker in his 1973 masterpiece, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices.
Now fast forward to 2013 and the financial services industry.? What are customers looking for when choosing a financial advisor?
According to a new study released by the CFA Institute/Edelman Investor Trust Study, clients consider trustworthiness more important than investment management skills when choosing a financial advisor. 35% of respondents said whether an advisor was trusted to act in my best interest was the most important factor when hiring an advisor. The ability to achieve high returns was cited half as often, at 17%, and the advisors fee structure was important to just seven percent of respondents.
This is yet another example to support the fact that 93.6% of financial planning is behavioral management of the client.
A behaviorally smart advisor knows how to build trust from the very first interaction with the customer.
The research offered three behavior related attributes to building trust:
- Create transparent and open business practices. What tool do you have in place to objectively understand the clients financial personality, including their natural level of trust?? Using a discovery system helps formulate the basis for deep, meaningful conversations tailored to the unique characteristics of the customer. You will eliminate the guess- work and assumptions. And, as an advisor, you should share your financial personality and level of trust with the customer.? Thats transparency!
- Take responsible actions to address an issue or crisis. The real behavioral approach is to find out what responsible actions means to each unique customer.? A research -laden email explaining the markets may suffice for some.? Others may need a phone call to allow them to express emotions along with some high level facts.? You need to discover this information up front with a customer before the crisis occurs.? Knowing exactly how the customer operates under stress is crucial to the longevity of your relationship.
- Have ethical business practices. Whether you agree or not, the financial services industry is still suffering from the 2008 financial crisis.? The bailouts and lack of punishment for those responsible still leaves a shadow of doubt in the general populations mind on how far they can trust financial institutions.? If you adopt an understanding people before numbers approach and have an objective system for uncovering all the risks of the customer relationship (financial, investment and personality), chances are you will be viewed as a trusted advisor.
Isnt it time to become a behaviorally smart advisor?? Your customers are counting on it!? Simple, actionable solutions are waiting for you at the Financial DNA website.