Advisor meeting with two potential clients

Building Rapport With Clients in Wealth Management

Your prospective clients have a choice in who to work with to meet their financial goals, and one factor in their decision will undoubtedly be the connection and trust they feel with the person they choose to be their advisor. As you know, wealth management is so much more than watching the market and making investment decisions — it is about crafting a holistic plan to meet the many diverse needs of each individual client. Building rapport with prospective wealth management clients can help you better understand their goals and objectives.

How to Establish Rapport With Clients

How do you build rapport with clients? Here are some helpful guidelines for that first conversation.

1. Ask Open-ended Questions

Asking the right open-ended questions can build rapport with clients. For example, when you ask the open-ended question, “Can you tell me about yourself?,” your potential client will focus on what defines their life, such as their family, career and hobbies. This gives you an opportunity to make connections, such as a shared hobby or travel location, as well as a better sense of where they are in life and what some of their concerns may be.

Examples of effective rapport-building questions include:

  • What made you decide to start investing?
  • What does the future look like for you?
  • What does financial security mean to you?
  • How do you plan to spend your retirement?
  • Can you describe your relationship with finances?
  • Can you describe your relationship with saving?
  • What are your expectations for your investments?
  • What excites you about investing?
  • What other things should we discuss?
  • What concerns do you have?

Remember, clients may be nervous about sharing their personal and financial information — don’t be afraid to acknowledge that. Also, don’t be afraid to participate in the conversation and share about yourself. But be careful not to take over the conversation. 

2. Understand Their Goals

Money is a tool to help your clients achieve the life they want — what does that life look like? Ask about three goals or priorities to avoid retirement tunnel vision; unless they are very close to retirement, hopefully their finances will do something else for them between your meeting and retirement. Ask where they want to be in a year, five years and so on.

This will allow you to transition to a more focused financial conversation about what a successful investment and wealth management strategy would look like. 

3. Know What’s in Store

If you haven’t already discussed it, ask about anything on the horizon (either good or bad) that will impact their finances. Did they recently welcome a child into the family? Will they be caring for another family member in the coming years, such as an aging parent? Did they recently change jobs or purchase a new home? 

Ask how they feel about where they are right now in their progress to their overall goals and in preparing for these life changes. Repeat back any concerns they share and give a hypothetical example of how you might address it.

4. Understand Their Expectations 

Discuss how you would work together. Ask if they’ve ever worked with a wealth management advisor before. If the answer is yes, dig deeper into what they liked and didn’t like about that experience. Whether they are experienced or new to working with an advisor, ask about their expectations and share with them how you can work together to help reach their goals.

5. Allow Them to Ask Questions

Finish the meeting by thanking them and sharing how much you enjoyed talking with them. Ask them how they’d like to move forward and mention that you’d like to meet with them again at their convenience to begin helping them achieve the goals you discussed. 

6. Be Genuine

At the end of the day, find what works for you. To build a real, honest rapport with your clients, you need to be comfortable enough to be genuine and straightforward. Share about yourself to make them more comfortable but don’t spend too much time talking about yourself or getting into the details of your business (unless they ask). This initial meeting is about building a foundation of trust in the hope that you will work together for many years.  


Find Support at Farm Bureau

At Farm Bureau Financial Services, you’re never alone. You’ll have an entire team of support helping you strengthen your relationships with clients. Contact a Regional Manager to learn more about joining a team committed to accomplishing more for your clients.