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A Behaviorally Smart Advisor Connects with 25% More Prospects

A behaviorally smart advisor is one who:

  • Knows their behavior and can adapt to others
  • Navigates different communication styles
  • Manages their own and others emotions

How does this help an advisor to connect with more prospects?? Increased behavioral awareness helps an advisor to build the relationship on solid ground from the very beginning prospect stage.

Recent research conducted by Financial Advisor Magazine reported the top reason why clients fire an advisor is failure to communicate on a timely basis.

Financial DNA, Behavioral InsightsIf you objectively uncover the prospects communication style in the on-boarding process, you could specifically discuss the way and types of communication that work best for the client and then adapt your style to accommodate the client.

Lets look first at the communication style. One client might define successful communication if they are doing 80% of the talking.? Another client might want lots of facts and information to be emailed to him so he could have plenty of time to read and review.? Yet another client might define successful communication as allowing them to get right to their agenda and goals.

Next, think about what your prospects consider to be a timely basis? That definition can vary but its best to know upfront so you can manage expectations.? An extremely goal oriented client may want responses within a few hours.? Your outgoing clients may want at least an acknowledgement with a realistic response time frame established so they know what to expect.

The truth is that most advisors communicate with their prospects using their own style; which means they are only truly connecting with 25% of their prospects. That is why lack of communication ranks as the #1 reason clients leave advisors!

For many advisors, a great benefit of gaining more behavioral self-awareness is developing more flexibility. Understanding that you have certain communication tendencies leads to recognition that those tendencies serve one better in some situations than others. That recognition in turn leads to a willingness to assess a prospect and situation and adjust your approach to it, if called for. Knowing what behavior you prefer to show, and what is needed, empowers advisors to choose effective behaviors.

Make a commitment to become behaviorally smart.? Because when it comes to increasing revenues in your practice, behavior will drive performance.



Peggy Mengel ? Vice President, Human Behavior Solutions Advisor at DNA Behavior

Specializing in financial services, Peggy uses behavioral intelligence to help businesses navigate human differences to unlock performance potential. DNA Behavior helps grow behaviorally smart businesses and financial advisors worldwide to increase competitive advantage using the most reliable behavioral discovery and performance development systems on cutting-edge technology platforms.

Visit the Financial DNA website to learn more about becoming a behaviorally smart advisor.

Bridge the Relationship Gap to Engage Clients

More and more evidence is emerging suggesting Gen D (digital generation) represent an interesting developing market for financial services firms. Gen D are attracted by social media, they expect it to be evidenced in all areas of their life. Importantly they will look for this approach from their advisors who in turn must understand the importance of building trust with Gen D through the use of social media.

Interestingly, Gen D is not necessarily age related rather media savvy related. Good communication today doesnt involve changing the what of the message, but the how. Clients who fall into the Gen D bracket want to know you are on social media. Thats where they will look for you. Thats where building trust begins and where the voice of the customer is becoming the loudest. It falls to advisors to understand the importance not only of social media but how best to engage with a wide age range of potential clients through gaining behavioral awareness.

Having recently read an interesting article from Accenture following a survey they conducted into how Gen D investors approach wealth management its clear that the financial industry must change their approach to the use of social media if they are to attract, build trust with and maintain long term relationships with Gen D.? Click here to read the full article from Accenture.

Visit the Financial DNA website to learn more about building trust with clients and bridge the relationship gap.

Its All About Trust

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?

Trustworthiness.

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Its All About Trust

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?

Trustworthiness.

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:

1) 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!

2) 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.

3) 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: www.financialdna.com.

Its All About Trust

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?

Trustworthiness.

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:

1)??? 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!

2)??? 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.

3)??? 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: www.financialdna.com.

Keys to Developing a Client-Centric Approach

If you don’t decide strongly for yourself the favorable outcome you want out of a client/advisor relationship, your success as an advisor will likely come from others’ definition of success.

In most cases those who ask for financial advice already know the answer. Often this is based on their instinct and seeking professional advice delivers not only a confirmation but probably a measure of confidence in terms of trusting their instincts.

The measure of a strong advisor client relationship lies not in the confirmation of things already known but whether or not the advisor has the skills to take the relationship to the next level.

Financial Planning, Financial Personality, Quality Life Planning, Perpetual Income

A primary responsibility of an advisor is to gain an understanding of where the client is going before deciding how to get them there. This level of connection begins the process of taking the relationship to the next level.

Investing time into understanding the journey clients are on can only be achieved if the advisor firstly understands how to communicate effectively with them. Communication is the key that unlocks closed relationships and makes a pathway for questions to be asked in a way that causes no offence and yet elicits answers that go to the heart of how a client wants to use their money.

  • what their drivers are
  • the plans they have for their lives and those of their family
  • their tolerance to risk

Perhaps more importantly such an approach opens the door to insights that inevitably allow the advisor opportunities to upsell in a non-threatening way.

Todays economic landscape is constantly evolving and as a result people are far more cautious about the advice they listen to. Clients are likely to seek advice from many sources but are far more likely to return to those whose advice is based on understanding their journey and knowing how to communicate effectively with them. This is the relationship that not only delivers success for the advisor but peace of mind for the client. A win win.

Visit the Financial DNA website to learn more about how you can develop a client-centric approach.

Specific Communication Keys for Each Style

This post is part 5 of our 8 part series on increasing Client Engagement from our Client Relationship Performance in the New Behavioral Economy White Paper. The insights will demonstrate in practical terms how to apply predictive behavioral insights to tailor client communication and provide unique client experiences.

Behavioral Insight 5: Specific Communication Keys for Each Style

Earlier in this series, we learned about Chris Coddington and his meetings with a client named Frank Butler. Chris was given information about the 4 Communication DNA Styles, processes for discovering which communication style a client has and guidelines for matching clients to the right advisor based on communication style. (Click here to read the previous posts in this series).

We told Chris that a future trend will be advisors building client service teams that are a custom fit for the client. This provides the advisor with the opportunity to include team members with different styles to complement the advisors behavior. Imagine when a telephone call comes in and the team automatically knows who is to pick it up, then how to communicate with the client, and how to manage the work flow and even product or solution offerings. This really is the Ideal Advisory Business. Chris could also see that this strategy would be good for succession planning.

Chris then said, I want some specific communication keys that I can put into my online contact management system so that whenever a client calls up or I am preparing for a meeting, I will know how to adapt my communication. Also, these communication keys need to be memorable so that the client gets engaged with them. Further, and very importantly, I also want this sustainable and scalable across my client service team. The way we have structured our business is that the one family client is served by different people on the team depending on whether the needs are financial planning, investments or administration.

Each person does have a very unique way in which he or she likes to be communicated with. This was clear from what Frank Butler said in his first meeting about wanting options and recommendations so that he could make a decision. What this message really said to Chris is that trust in the relationship will not be developed unless Chris and his Coddington team communicate with Frank in this way. If he is not communicated with in this way, then he is likely to become de-energized and lose interest in what is put before him.

As you can see from the graph at left, each style is quite different in terms of communication. This is where ensuring the different communication styles do not become a relationship blockage. Franks wife has a Stabilizer communication style. This is basically opposite to Frank. She would need a much more relaxed meeting and not so bottom-line. The discussion should start with dreams as this is more emotional, whereas goals is more rational.

The Lifestyle Desire and Information Need communication styles are also opposite. The Lifestyle person wants a fast-paced, open discussion and fun, while the Information Need person wants to get into the details and reflect. He or she does not like it too conceptual. Of course, here is where the spender and saver difference comes up more acutely. The Information Need person likes to focus on the budget. To the Lifestyle Desire person a budget is a turnoff. The advisor should talk instead about spending plans.

From time to time an individuals score may reflect a Lifestyle Desire as the primary communication style; however, the client may have a second style that also scores highly, such as a Stability Need. In any cases like this, the elements of both factors would be important in communication with the client.

When Chris is dealing with spouses in the same meeting, he must address each of them on his or her own terms, unless one of them chooses to accept one way. Based on social research it tends to be the female who will make 70% or more of the financial choices. So, if you do not have guidance on know how to run the meeting with a couple, start by addressing the female spouse on her unique terms. Remember, women want to be understood and men want to be respected. So, do not leave the male totally in the cold.

What are your thoughts? For additional information on increasing engagement of others, visit our Communication DNA Website.

To Learn More, read the full Client Relationship Performance in the New Behavioral Economy White Paper.