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What Do Clients Want From Their Advisor?

Often we think that clients want higher investment returns from their advisor, and therefore that defines the role of the advisor. However, research shows that clients want a relationship. This has actually been the case for a long time but the research is becoming clearly stronger all over the world in the need for advisors to develop stronger interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.

What Clients Want from AdvisorsRecent Trusted Advisor Research by Professional Planner magazine in Australia demonstrates that an advisors interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are most important by 82% of the survey participants who were clients of Advisors of the Year.

Refer to the full article at: http://www.professionalplanner.com.au/research/afa-study-shows-eq-pays

There is no doubt developing your interpersonal skills grows the bottom line. In advisory business relationships are the key to revenue sustainability.

Many advisors are naturally results orientated in behavioral style and therefore naturally lower on relationships. But, the interpersonal skills can be learned with sustained effort, focus and investment. The starting point is behavioral awareness.

So, the question becomes why isnt there more sustained investment in developing the interpersonal skills and EQ of advisors? It seems there is still a strong over weighting towards technical training. When we see this change, trust in the industry will grow.

Our firm has recently been working with Advisors Ahead to deliver this type of training to financial planning students and young advisors. This is an important starting point but needs to go much further.

To learn more about how you can grow to become a behaviorally smart advisor, please visit the Financial DNA website.

Discovering the Silent Killer

Indifference. Websters dictionary defines this word as lack of interest, concern or sympathy.

J.D. Powers and Associates just released the results of a survey that found 31% of financial advisors were indifferent about their work and have no strong attachment to their firms.? Without a connection to their firm, these advisors are likely to be open to discussions with competitors.

There is a silent killer lurking in the midst of our organizations. Could a third of your clients be classified as indifferent?

http://dnabehavior.com/Company%20Values%20Resize.jpgOne of the biggest challenges with identifying indifference is that we usually judge our clients through our own viewing lens.? That is not always objective. Or we point to our annual client surveys.? But there is a risk that you can have lots of data and not see what it is saying.

Indifference can translate into business risks.? The first is that the client will not stick to their financial plan and that will present problems for you in the form of difficult conversations and unrealized goals.? In addition, the client will not add money to their account or provide any referrals.? Finally, the client is open to conversations with other advisors and the ultimate risk is losing the entire relationship.

What can you do to combat the silent killer?? Start by asking a lot of questions to get beneath the surface of a client. Human differences are really the hidden obstacles in any relationship.? It takes time but you will uncover the behavior and emotions that lead to authentic engagement.? Next, be sure to adapt your communication style to that of your client. You might be excited about sharing all the market data when in reality your client is happy with the concrete, bottom line results. Finally, customize your products and services to your client.? A lengthy newsletter is not necessary to clients who prefer picture, graphs and bullet points.

All of these recommendations may seem small. But small changes produce big results.?? Keep in mind that it is in understanding behavior that leads to customer engagement.? When your clients are connecting with your firm at a deeper level, there is no room for indifference.

Learn how you can objectively uncover and navigate the different financial personalities of your clients by visiting the Financial DNA website.

The Finish Line

None of us are so talented that we dont need help. Maybe thats why the below video tugs on me so. Click to watch.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/ohio-runner-stops-state-final-aid-fallen-opponent-100722161.html

Its interesting to note a few things. Both runners are in shape, both have run this track probably hundreds of times, yet it wasnt enough. At the moment of completion it took a fellow competitor, a colleague in the suffering that is training, someone who understood what it took to make it over the finish line to provide that extra lift.

In my business, I see clients whove done all the right things, put in the time, the blood, sweat and tears to build a business ? but just need that little piece at the very end to cross the finish line of financial independence. Bravo to you Meghan Vogel from West Liberty-Salem (Ohio) High School. Character is so rare that when you see it, you cant help but smile.

Read more from Rusty Holcombe on the Holcombe Financial Blog.