Top Tips for Communicating with Financial Advisor Clients


IWinning at communicating effectively with your customers is essential to the success of your financial advisor training, and ultimately the relationships you build with your customers and their families. Financial advisor client communications are key to building trust and camaraderie with the people you serve.

In a 2019 survey, 85% of respondents said communication style would be considered when deciding whether or not to retain an investment advisor.

Greg Hammer is a Yale graduate with an applied math degree who has spent the last decade with C2P, learning to simplify the financial planning process and communicate more effectively with clients.

In a recent episode of the Bucket Plan On-Demand Podcast, he and Dave Alison discussed proven metaphors and relevant examples you can start using right away to help your clients better understand the role of an investment advisor and the benefits of working with one.

Greg’s holistic consulting firm serves 800 clients a year. Greg attributes much of his growth to financial advisor training he received and the communication methods he honed throughout his career.

The first meeting can be overwhelming for a new client.

Greg recommends explaining up front that you’re going to be giving them a lot of information in a very short time.

Encourage them to ask questions, but let them know it’s okay if they don’t understand everything.

That’s why they hired you.

When you bring your car to the shop, do you understand everything the mechanic says or does, or do you trust the expert to take care of it?

Financial planning is no different.

“I tell my clients to think of me as the mechanic. I have to lift the hood and show you what’s going on. This is my job as a fiduciary. But after our relationship grows, if you never want to look under the hood again, I’m fine with that. When you want me to shut up, just tell me to close the hood!”

-Greg Hammer

You could spend the whole day explaining every detail of the portfolio, going through possible scenarios and market predictions. But most customers don’t want that – they just want to come every year for a tune-up. Unless the check engine light comes on, they don’t want to worry about it.

A good investment advisor prevents breakdowns when they can. And when they can’t, they reopen the hood and fix the problem at its source.

The mechanical analogy is easy to understand.

When you inevitably hit them with a bunch of jargon and acronyms, your customer will feel less bombarded if they know up front that they don’t need to understand every little thing you say.

They don’t need to understand how the engine works because they hired an expert. You will see immediate relief on their faces when you repeat this.

However, the client is still responsible for the maintenance of his portfolio. There will always be gaps in the plan and changes in the market. You can’t take a Set it and forget it approaching retirement.

A brand new car always requires maintenance, after all. You need to change the oil, rotate the tires, and check for damage or vulnerabilities.

There’s a reason why financial advisor training is an ongoing process – things tend to change quickly.

“Just because you haven’t seen the pothole doesn’t mean it won’t hurt.”

-Greg Hammer

Life happens. When you get a flat tire, you assess, adjust, and continue your journey.

Ongoing holistic financial planning will take into account life adjustments and changes. Planning for retirement is like a road trip, sometimes your priorities change and you have to completely change your destination.

A investment advisor should ask simple, decisive, open and direct questions.

The more data you collect, the better your decision-making will be throughout the planning process.

For example, instead of flying blind and reworking Income Gap Assessment time and time again, just ask the customer an honest question.

How much money do you want to guarantee in your retirement financial plan?

Now you know how much you need to pay into annuities, it’s as simple as that.

In a recent episode of the Rainmaker Multiplier On-Demand podcast, Bryan Bibbo and DC Chamberlin recommend scheduling quarterly financial advisor communications with your VIP clients to update them on their account performance and ask questions about what’s going on. in their life. .

Also, don’t be afraid to ask them questions about themselves and their families. You want to connect with them on a human level, even if it’s through commonalities such as sports teams or musical tastes.

Here are some common questions to ask your customers

  • Has your family experienced any major life events recently?
    • Graduation
    • Promotion
    • Retirement
    • Commitment
    • Marriage
    • Divorced
    • Birth
    • Medical diagnosis
    • Death
  • Do you have any expected milestones ahead?
  • Are you planning a vacation or other major expense?
  • Are you considering any surgeries or medical procedures?
  • Do you have any new financial needs, concerns, or goals since our last conversation?

How can you use various financial advisor client communications to further develop your relationships and provide ongoing value at all stages of the client lifecycle?

Consider a card or flowers depending on the occasion. You can also use promotional products or corporate gifts during the holiday season to say thank you and stay top of mind at the start of the year.

Bryan called back a client whose wife was 60 and he mentioned that they were planning a trip to Tahiti for her birthday. Before the trip, his team sent them a travel diary on Tahiti.

Dave Alison suggests going so far as to ask where they’re staying and having a nice bottle of wine sent to their room.

Want to learn more about simple and effective communication with clients of financial advisors? Schedule a free 20-minute consultation with one of our business development representatives to see how we can help you build stronger relationships with your clients.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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