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Fighting Financial Advisor Anxiety: Part Two

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Fighting Financial Advisor Anxiety: Part Two

May 6, 2014

by Sarah Scorgie

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Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Interactions with a personal touch make clients more comfortable opening up.

USA Today recently reported that many people suffer from “financial advisor anxiety” – nervousness that makes them reluctant to share the intimate details of their finances with an advisor. Last month, I discussed how to calm clients’ nerves with educational marketing strategies in Fighting Financial Advisor Anxiety: Part One. Now, I’ll discuss strategies for making your practice more relatable.

Six ways to make your firm more relatable

Nothing epitomizes the world of business like Wall Street – and misconceptions about aggressive financial planners create barriers to successful advisor-client partnerships. Making yourself relatable to future clients combats their anxiety and makes them more apt to engage.

  • Put a face to a name. If you haven’t already, add headshots and brief bios of your staff to your website. The same goes for your social media pages. According to Forbes, LinkedIn pages with profile pictures are seven times more likely to be viewed than those without.
  • Offer a behind-the-scenes look at your firm. Social media pages are a great place to let your firm’s personality show. Do you celebrate employees’ birthdays? Does your firm run in an annual charity race? Posting pictures of your business’ behind-the-scenes activities can give you an edge when it comes to relating with prospective clients. Of course, the level of formality you choose and the information you share should be tailored to your target audience.
  • Don’t be afraid to have fun. Finances are serious business – but don’t be afraid to increase clients’ comfort levels with informal events and seminars. Some advisors see better turnout when they host events that welcome clients’ entire families, rather than hosting strictly professional or educational seminars.
  • Share personal details. Financial advisors have hectic schedules. But when you’re meeting with a prospect, don’t rush through the discovery process. Rather than structuring a meeting as a series of questions posed to the potential client, take the time to share details about yourself when appropriate. Finding shared interests will help develop a lasting client relationship more than just “talking shop.” Your clients trust you with their money, so it’s understandable that they want to understand who you are.
  • Be responsive. If your company has social media pages, make sure they’re monitored daily to ensure that any messages, comments or questions are responded to promptly. The same goes for contact forms on your website or your firm’s inquiry email address. Nothing stunts a relationship faster than when a potential client reaches out and doesn’t hear back for days.
  • Provide options for contact. Offering prospective clients several options for contact shows that you’re flexible and willing to accommodate them. Some may enjoy the personal touch of meeting face-to-face, while others prefer interacting via phone or email. Log this information in your customer-relationship management system. You can increase a potential client’s comfort level by using his or her preferred communication style.

Make clients comfortable

While establishing meaningful relationships is essential in any client-facing role, financial advisors may face additional challenges when it comes to building trust because people can be guarded when it comes to discussing their finances. By leveraging a personal approach and marketing strategies that educate and empower, you can make prospective clients more comfortable talking about money. In turn, the advice you provide will become more effective and help clients successfully achieve their financial goals.

Sarah Scorgie is a copywriter at Wealth Management Marketing, Inc., a firm that provides outsourced marketing department services to Registered Investment Advisors and fee-only financial planning firms. For more information, visit www.wealthmanagementmarketing.net.

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