Continuing from of Tuesday’s post relating to findings of the latest Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Survey(TM), the survey included the question, “What core qualifies their financial advisor possesses that keeps them loyal to their relationship?” Below are the top five responses:
- “Understand their current financial situation”
- “Understand their goals, dreams and personal values”
- “Understand and respect their preferred methods of communication, e.g. face-to-face, email, phone, social media, etc.”
- “Has specific expertise advising their unique financial circumstances”
- “Provides relevant research and market insights to help them feel informed and in control”
The top three answers all relate to the advisors personal knowledge of the client and the ability to convey this awareness to the client, allowing the client to feel the advisor really understands his or her needs.
Surprised the ability to beat the benchmark didn’t make the list? We all know returns are important, but results alone are not enough to build client loyalty. Clients need a sense of safety and security with their advisor. Advisors have to work to build trust and nurture their relationship with their clients. Understanding the client is key to building the foundation of the relationship.
Going through the process of creating a financial plan with a customer is a great way to increase an advisors understanding of the client’s current financial situation and goals for the future. The planning process keeps the lines of communication open between advisors and clients. Financial planning requires more than a one-time engagement. Plans need to be adjusted for new information or changes that occur to the client’s situation to ensure the map for the future stays on the path of success.
Read more results from the survey:
MERRILL LYNCH AFFLUENT INSIGHTS SURVEY
Examining the Values, Financial Priorities and Concerns of Affluent Americans