Do you often wonder what clients are looking for in a financial adviser, and whether you meet the criteria? If so, read on to learn the 6 great traits that your clients will love.
Why providing good service is so important
If you are currently in the financial service sector, you already know that the industry has been disrupted heavily by COVID-19 and declining adviser numbers. For an industry where clients feel that they are literally putting their financial prosperity in your hands, this isn’t good for business.
Fewer financial advisers, combined with increasing fees, has put clients in a tough position. If they don’t like their financial adviser, it’s now harder to find another one. Plus, they are more likely to be dissatisfied because they are expecting more in return for the higher fees.
This has created a situation where potential clients are turning away from financial advising services. It is now more important than ever to be the adviser that reassures their concerns. By developing the following traits, you can provide better service and better outcomes.
First and foremost, your clients want your strategies to be precise. If your results are vague, or there are glaring logical inconsistencies, your clients won’t trust your expertise. At best, they will take up more of your time with questions and corrections, or at worst they’ll lose faith in your abilities and look for another adviser.
Your client is enlisting your services because you are an expert. An important part of demonstrating your expertise is being able to explain every detail of the strategies you provide. The golden rule here is to not only present the most important details to your client, but to be across the nitty-gritty details if they ask for more depth.
Everyone values quick turnarounds when they are paying for a service. For financial adviser clients, it may even be more important.
When a client makes the decision to consult you, they are really making a decision to safeguard and increase their wealth. That is both exciting and nerve-wracking – and it makes your clients anxious to see their results.
Money is a curious thing. For many people it is more than just payment for the work they do. It is a representation of their effort, and their future comfort. People are scared of losing it, but also scared of missing out on the chance to make more of it. As a resource, money feels scarce.
A fast turnaround time proves that you are proactively helping them reach their goals. It also puts a tangible, actionable plan in their hands sooner rather than later – while they are still at the peak of their engagement.
Your client’s strategy could change for a variety of reasons:
- A change from single to dual income (or vice versa)
- They are approaching a milestone such as retirement
- An unexpected incurred expense
- An unexpected donation or windfall
- A sudden shift in the client’s priorities
These are just some of the causes for a sudden change in your client’s financial plan. The question is, how equipped are you to adjust their strategies accurately and quickly?
It may be impossible to anticipate all changes, but it is your job to react to them. If you cannot easily accommodate changes in your clients’ circumstances, it will slow you down. By finding a way to streamline the process, your clients will feel like you care about them because of how quickly you react. They may even come back to you for advice more often because they will value how easily you can tailor their strategies to their current circumstances.
Many financial advisers have embraced modelling software that allows a strategy to be recalculated easily whenever there is an adjustment to the inputs. This allows them to quickly accommodate changes to their client’s situations and provide fast and useful adjustments.
Interactivity is the key to client engagement. Many clients are not just looking for advice, they are looking to grow their own knowledge and want to be involved in the decision-making process. Try presenting a range of strategies and getting your client’s thoughts on each one during a conversation. You’ll find they respond to this more positively than receiving their options via email.
It can also be a great opportunity to evolve your clients’ goals. After setting some initial goals at the data collection stage, you can help them gain a better understanding of their projected financial position, so they can adjust their goals to be more realistic or they may even be inspired to figure out new goals. Your clients will appreciate you taking the time to workshop their options with them.
Any time you can communicate with your client is a great chance to build a connection. Remember that for a returning client, you may be advising them for decades. The more they get to know and trust you, the better your chances of retaining them.
With the previous point in mind, always try to involve your clients, but be selective about what information you share. The aim should be to engage them, not to bamboozle them.
For example, showing them strategies is great because they are their strategies. They are the ticket to their secure future. However, if you invite them in to watch you add data to a spreadsheet, they will probably just get bored or confused. Data entry may matter to you, but your clients are more interested in the results.
Information that your client sees should always be easy to follow, written in plain-English, and important to the client. Charts are often a great way to communicate a lot of data in an engaging way. If you are struggling to convert your complex data into comprehensive reports, many financial modelling softwares provide easy to use templates. These templates require minimal edits to become client-friendly.
You don’t need to be told about the massive changes to finance legislation regulations in recent years. You are experiencing it. The burden of increased compliance is probably something you see as a problem for you that the client doesn’t need to be aware of.
This is mostly true. Your clients won’t care about the work you put in to stay up to date with legislative changes. But they may be more wary of financial adviser compliance in general because of the bad publicity that the Royal Commission has caused.
You can’t afford to miss an updated rule, regulation or benefit and draw negative publicity. While it would be a mistake, public opinion would identify you as one of the ‘bad apples’ that the Royal Commission was looking for. Clients want advisers that are trustworthy, and that reputation depends on your public image.
Why financial modelling software is necessary
You may have read these points and wondered, “how can I improve these traits and provide a better service for my clients?”
The answer is financial modelling software.
Financial modelling software is designed to improve the speed and detail of your calculations while assisting you with other routine tasks. There is one software in particular that focuses on improving the 6 traits mentioned above.
Optimo Pathfinder is a class-leading financial modelling software that helps financial advisers with modelling and strategy, while offering resources that ease your administrative workload. Pathfinder is:
- Precise: its algorithm can accurately crunch the numbers for you and calculate feasible values for your clients.
- Fast: it’s easy-to-use interface streamlines the data entry process, and changing values can be added quickly to reflect year-on-year changes
- Flexible: it can model a range of financial investments and life stages, and you can also easily make adjustments and generate new results.
- Interactive: you can present and compare scenarios and comparisons easily to clients, allowing them to be a part of the decision making process.
- Comprehensive: Out-of-the-box report templates save you time when creating documents for presentation to your clients
To become a financial adviser that your clients will love, sign up for a free trial with Optimo Pathfinder.