For financial advisors, winning new business may be difficult enough. The situation is severe, and potential clients have many options when it comes to seeking financial advice. The rise of online financial advisors (aka robo-advisors) has added another dimension to this equation.
Maintaining the satisfaction and engagement of new clients is a challenge for financial advisors, and frankly, this is true for any professional service provider. The client is seeking reasonable guidance and advice from his financial adviser. But building a relationship of mutual trust also requires some interpersonal skills. After all, clients are more likely to seek another financial adviser based on issues unrelated to their investment results. Here are some tips for financial advisors to talk to new and prospective clients-arguably breaking the deadlock.
- Although the financial market can be a cool calculation and number game, becoming a financial consultant is all about interpersonal relationships and communication.
- Finding new potential customers or keeping up with existing customers means that you will often find that you need to break the deadlock and start a generative conversation.
- Here, we have listed some creative ice-breaking tools that consultants can rely on, from the beginning of the conversation to the exploratory questions that can open their first sentence.
What’s on your bucket list?
Some financial advisors like to ask potential clients what their top five “bucket list” goals are. This is not only a relaxed and pleasant conversation, but also helps customers clarify their dreams and wishes for the future.
Although some of the items listed may only be interesting, most of what the consultant hears is usually rooted in the client’s vision for their future. Conversations like this can help customers open up and understand what their hopes and dreams are and what is important to them.
What do you hope this money will do for you?
This is the ultimate question that financial advisors should always ask their clients. This is a great way to break the deadlock when the relationship is new, and this question should be asked over and over again in your relationship with your customers.
Most customers don’t care whether small-cap stocks are undervalued, or whether you think emerging market stocks are expected to rise. They may not want to know the details behind your asset allocation recommendations, although they do want you to understand them.
Customers care about achieving their financial and life goals. Asking customers what they want their money to do for them and their families, and then really listening to the answer is the ultimate icebreaker, because it shows customers that their needs and desires are driving the relationship.
I don’t know if this relationship is suitable
This is a good icebreaker to meet with potential customers. If you are a successful financial advisor, this should be a sincere statement. The customer relationship must be two-way.
Explaining this to potential customers will immediately build trust and confidence, and you will worry about who can help you as a customer.
There are some interesting things in your office
If you have a special interest, or even have certain toys or gadgets in the office, this may be the beginning of the conversation. A consultant has a Lego calculator, which is always the beginning of a conversation.
An interesting poster or wall hanging, sports memorabilia or other similar things can inspire the interest of customers and potential customers and start a conversation like an icebreaker.
Research the prospects
In today’s online world, financial advisors can easily perform a Google search for potential customers, or if they are on a social network, they can view their LinkedIn profile. This is not to be nosy, but to understand some of the potential customers before meeting them.
Your online query may show people you know in common, schools or employers you shared, and certain other information to help you understand who your customers are.
Of course, most potential customers also check you online. As long as you don’t give people the impression of creepy or stalker, the information learned online can be a good icebreaker in a conference. In fact, I think potential customers will be impressed because you take the time to get to know them.
Tell them why you do this
Show potential customers that you are passionate about helping customers by telling your own story. This can be a powerful icebreaker. Although it’s always better to have minimal conversations and focus on getting customers to have most of them, sharing your story with customers will attract them.
This insight into your professional enthusiasm and ambition can help you achieve your goals, let them open up to you, and share with you their hopes, dreams, and fears about money.
Whether it’s fighting for potential new clients or building a relationship with someone who decides to become a client, financial advisors need to find a way to break the deadlock and build rapport. In this sense, it is no different from any type of business or personal relationship. A little bit different is that financial advisors require their clients to believe that they will advise them on key financial issues that will ultimately affect their quality of life.
People tend to do business with people they like, and it’s okay to show your identity to customers. Icebreakers can start conversations in a more relaxed and comfortable tone, making it easier to transition to more serious issues and helping clients make key financial decisions that affect their lives.