Inherited brand loyalty is a concept that is dying and brand loyalty is constantly under attack. With so much competition for clients and easy access to the general population via multiple forms of media in today’s market you cannot expect your customers to stay loyal to you unless you give them very good reason.
So as an advisor how do you attract clients and keep them loyal? Three steps will get you there. Let me tell you what they are.
Step 1: Find the right clients.
The reality of it is an unsuitable client isn’t going to stick around.
If you are just starting out as an advisor you may feel the need to take any client you can find, but those in the know know that blindly accepting clients will not build you a strong base nor will it bring in steady clientele. You need a portfolio of clients who need your specific expertise or talents. So: pinpoint what your top areas of expertise are and promote yourself as an advisor specializing in these areas.
After all, the right clients will let you do the task at hand to your highest ability, reducing your stress (as you’re playing to your strengths) and pleasing the client. You will end up cultivating a positive reputation for your advisor skills and will be less stressed overall.
At the same time, consider looking at underserved populations. If you can offer your advisor services to these segments, you are opening yourself up to a section of the market that offers less competition.
Step 2: Think like a client.
More specifically, think like your clients. Learn how much they know about finance and tailor your language and advice so they are not overwhelmed.
Typically the best thig to do is to start simple. Use the basics to 1) teach them the basics and 2) establish how well they absorb the information. Will a visual explanation work better than descriptive? Will real-life examples help clarify the importance of the issues at hand? These are things you will need to feel out as you continue to work with the client. Your ability to manage the client’s needs is what will make you a superior advisor.
Note that most people consult financial advisors in order to help themselves gain peace of mind regarding their financial situation. Helping them understand their financial reality is a great way to do this.
Step 3: Earn their trust.
This is probably the most important step when it comes to ensuring client loyalty.
It is also probably the most time- and effort-consuming. In order to gain your client’s trust you will need to build rapport and prove you are at the top of your consulting game.
One of the primary things to do? Deliver. Deliver results, deliver expectations, deliver value. If the client knows you will always bring your game they will continue bringing you business—both from them and from references they’ve given.
Follow-up is also a vital part of building trust. Reach out to ensure your clients’ needs are being met and be ready to be proactive if any issues are raised. If you show a real willingness to put the work in to ensure a solid experience your clients will come to trust you. Reviews—annual or otherwise—can be a great way to uncover areas that need improvement or exploring.
A trusting client is a loyal client, so do not bypass this step.
Find, think and earn: these are the three major steps you need to take to establish yourself in the advisor field. Once these steps are perfected the act of getting new clients and retaining your current roster will be as easy as breathing.
Being an advisor can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but only if you have the right client base. And you will only keep the right clients if you manage yourself to these three steps. This is Where Trust is Built.