Advisor and client meet in sunny office

7 Ways Financial Advisors Can Build Trust With Clients

There are many reasons why a client initially comes to you — your credentials, your qualifications, or perhaps a referral. But the reason they stay with you comes down to trust.

Trust isn’t given, it’s earned, and a strong advisor-client relationship takes time to develop. Here are the key strategies to establish trust and build a relationship with your clients.    

1. Be Transparent 

One of the most important steps to advisor-client relationship building is to be 100% open and honest with clients. From discussing fee structures and the services you offer to explaining a missed deadline or why you made a mistake, it’s imperative to tell the truth — always. While these types of conversations can be difficult to have initially, honest discussions upfront act as the building blocks to a deeper client relationship down the road.

2. Listen

Never underestimate the power of being a good listener. As a Wealth Management Advisor, your role is to help clients achieve their financial goals. But sometimes clients aren’t clear on what those goals are. For example, a client may say something like: “I want to be financially comfortable when I retire.” But what they really mean is: “I want my mortgage to be paid off by the time I’m 65.”

The foundation of the financial advisor-client relationship is listening. By listening actively and asking questions that probe deeper, you can uncover needs and wants that even the client might not be aware of. Then you’ll be armed with the right information to present a financial strategy that serves their best interests.   

3. Skip the Jargon 

Consumer price index. Fiduciary. Commodities. Sure, it can be tempting to throw around financial terminology to impress clients. But clarity engenders trust — and jargon often just confuses.

When talking to a client, there’s no need to “dumb down” financial concepts or terms. Instead, take this approach:

  • Introduce key terms in plain English.
  • Define the terms clearly.
  • Break down complicated abstractions into easier-to-understand concepts. 
  • Offer to answer a client’s questions or re-explain anything until they feel comfortable.

4. Maintain Consistent Communication

Reaching out to your clients on a regular basis — even if it’s just to see how they’re doing — offers two trust-building benefits. First, it creates a sense of familiarity. This allows clients to feel more comfortable, which is good news for when they have financial questions or investment concerns down the road. Second, it shows clients that you care. This lets them know that you have their best interests in mind and not your own bottom line.

5. Get Personal 

Clients trust you to manage their life savings and hard-earned income so that they and their families feel safe, secure and stable. It doesn’t get any more personal than that. Acknowledge the intimate nature of the client-advisor relationship in thoughtful gestures that go a long way toward establishing long-lasting connections. A few ideas include:

  • Send handwritten thank you notes. 
  • Mail birthday cards. 
  • Celebrate life milestones. 
  • Host appreciation events.

6. Respond Promptly

If you miss a call from a client, call them back the same day — or as soon as possible. If you told a client you would follow up or that you were mailing a contract that needs to be signed, do it with urgency. Your clients trust you to shepherd their financial investments, and they trust you to be understanding of their concerns, needs and questions. Unnecessary delays show a lack of concern, which is sure to raise a red flag for your clients and ruin the chance of building trust.

7. Let Your Values Lead

As a financial advisor, you’re in the business of helping people achieve their financial goals. That’s a big undertaking — and one that requires integrity and a service-oriented disposition. Think through the values you lean on to guide your business and write them down. Then, when a challenge or issue arises, make sure your decisions reflect the values of your business. This establishes consistency that can help your clients feel at ease.  

Join a Team You Can Trust

When you join Farm Bureau as a Wealth Management Advisor, you’ll have an entire support team ready to help you build relationships with clients. Contact a Regional Manager to learn more about joining Farm Bureau.