Pop quiz. When your clients and prospects have a financial or a non-financial need or question, do they think of you first?
If the answer is yes, congratulations! You have achieved the highly coveted title of “go-to” advisor.
If the answer is no, there is certainly no reason to fret. Read on for some tips and ideas on becoming a truly indispensable advisor.
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Cerulli Associates estimates there are more than 300,000 financial advisors in the U.S.
With such fierce competition, as well as the rise of the robo-advisor, you must separate yourself from the rest of the pack.
Positioning yourself as an expert and becoming a truly indispensable advisor is what all financial advisors should be striving for.
Build a Strong Network
In order to be a “go-to” advisor, you should become top-of-mind when your clients have a financial need or even a non-financial need. They shouldn’t have to turn to Google or automated robo-advice for their answers, nor should they be tempted to go to a financial advisor that is down the street.
Set yourself apart by building a strong network of professionals that can help you deliver on all of your clients’ and prospects’ financial and non-financial needs. A robust network is fundamental to being indispensable.
While it is given that you should have a network of CPAs, attorneys, bankers and insurance agents, consider thinking more far-reaching, like healthcare professionals, human resource consultants and real estate agents. Trade professionals like contractors, electricians, plumbers and mechanics should also be in your rolodex. Even dog walkers, hair stylists, personal trainers, babysitters and daycares are necessary to have in your network of connections.
Staying closely tied to your community is key to building a strong network of centers of influence.
Become a Thought Leader
By becoming a thought leader, your clients and prospects will view you as an expert. They will value your opinion and seek out your expertise, thus making you their “go-to” advisor.
How do you become a thought leader? Writing blogs, creating vlogs (video blogs), posting your insights and professional opinions on all of your social media channels, hosting educational events, as well as frequent webinars are all fantastic and fairly simple ways to market yourself, your thoughts, your opinions, your insights and expertise.
Instead of simply sharing the latest financial news with your clients and prospects, explain to what it really means to them and how the news may or may not impact them. Help them to cut through all of the financial noise and clutter that is difficult for clients and prospects to navigate.
By becoming a thought leader, you will inspire your clients to not only take action, but to make a profound impact on their lives and financial decisions. Once again, making you indispensable to them!
Put Your Clients First
While this may seem like a no-brainer, if you want to be indispensable, it is crucial to always have your clients’ and prospects’ best interests in mind in all that you do for them.
Consistently communicate with them and focus on educating them as much as possible.
In addition, uncover a deep understanding of your clients’ and prospects’ needs, goals and core values. Ask open-ended questions. Be sure you understand what motivates them to invest with you.
Practice always being present by opening your ears and closing your mouth. Demonstrate how much you care about your relationship with them by focusing on listening with intent more and speaking less. Make them feel genuinely valued, respected and important.
By striving to participate in rich dialogues and building deep relationships, you will garner greater client loyalty and trust.
Focus on High-Touch Service
A high-touch client service model doesn’t go unnoticed. Investment performance is not what keeps your clients loyal; it is the strength of your client relationships. Your clients and prospects will routinely seek you out when you consistently go above and beyond with them.
Think about the Disney experience or the Ritz Carlton credo. Disney and the Ritz always strive to “over deliver” on customer expectations. Why should your service be any different? By practicing a high-touch service model, you will exceed your clients’ expectations again and again. Showing that you are willing to go the extra mile goes a long way to forging client relationships that are indispensable.
The Bottom Line
To become a “go-to” advisor, your clients should feel as though they simply cannot live without you as their financial advisor.
A word of caution. The role of the indispensable advisor is significant and it should not be taken lightly.
Not only will it separate you from the rest, but it will create profound client loyalty, ultimately leading to a steady flow of highly qualified referrals and lifelong client relationships.
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