Featured in WealthManagement.com's 2023 Midyear Outlook
Despite a strong rebound in the markets this past year, clients are worried about their financial situation, and their futures. It makes sense: never-ending anxiety-inducing headlines and world events continue every day.
As a result, clients are telling us that they are not feeling connected to and cared for by their advisors. The latest JD Power Investor survey proves this: 86% of clients rated their advisor as just poor or average. This should send off alarm bells across our industry! To us, this means advisors haven’t taken the time to truly understand their clients: their needs, goals, and their fears.
Ultimately, what clients truly want is authenticity from their advisor—that they truly care, understand and can help. How can you reposition your relationship with clients to become their trusted advisor? How can you add value that they find meaningful, helpful, and really want?
Investors consistently say they want their advisor to have a deep understanding of their goals and family’s needs; they want personalized contact about their needs and their interests. To have a deep dialogue and prove that you do listen and really hear them, leading advisors use “intentional dialogue” techniques.
Intentional dialogue process usually consists of three parts:
is a reflective process that reassures your clients that you have heard their perception and experience of the situation. As an example, before replying with your typical response to a client’s question, try “mirroring” back:
“Is this what you are asking? Did I hear you correctly?”
is recognizing that what your client is saying makes sense from their perspective. It may not be your opinion, or your experience nor does it mean that you agree with what they are saying, rather it is a proven method for recognizing and accepting their point of view.
“The media coverage of the debt ceiling crisis and high inflation does seem scary, especially for retirees like you.”
is the ability to communicate to your client that you hear and understand their feelings and that it makes sense to them. While you may not be experiencing the same type of uncertainty and fear that they are, accepting and acknowledging their feelings is essential to fully engaging your clients. It might sound like this:
“I can certainly understand your feelings of worry. Many people feel the same way you do.”
Why is this type of dialogue so rare yet so needed in our industry? Echoing the JD Powersurvey, a recent Morningstar Survey of 3000 investors in 2021 and 2022 identified the top 2reasons for dropping advisors was the quality of advice and the quality of the relationship.
There is a growing trend led by top advisors to be more authentic themselves, often by sharing stories with their prospects and clients as to why they became an advisor in the firstplace and discussing the seminal event(s) in their lives that put them where they are today. By telling their stories and practicing intentional dialogues with prospects and clients, they develop significantly deeper and more profitable relationships.
Original article can be found here: https://bluetoad.com/article/Affiliated+Advisors/4626414/79964