Consistently Deepening Relationships with Clients

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Readers,

Last week was Thanksgiving. This is a holiday that for some families is filled with blessings and joy, but for a few people and families is a time of sorrow and sadness. If you know your clients well enough, you know which category they fall into. One of the important aspects of doing financial advisory and planning is – when done well – you should know a person very deeply: their values, desires, fears, and life circumstances.

As we enter the end of the year to celebrate other holidays, consider improving your emotional intelligence (EQ) and connecting with your clients in deeper and more fulfilling ways:

This article will share some ideas on how to do this:

  1. Get to know the people your clients care about. It is obvious for those advisors working with UHNW or family office clients there is a need to connect with the second and third generations. Understanding family values and facilitating open communication is critical, as is the practical planning and legal work. But what about those clients with only $1-7 or $8 million? Do you have a connection to their kids? Are you willing to spend the time talking to a 20-something in his/her/their first job and help provide guidance on making good decisions? Do you know if your client is attending to an elderly parent or other relative? You will know it if there is financial impact, but what if there isn’t? Have you engaged and learned about those they care about? Knowing they have three kids, where those kids go to school and what events your clients like to attend on the weekends isn’t enough – reach out and care about those people your client cares about.
  1. Share with your client something you admire and appreciate about them and is special to them. Not just “thanks for being a client,” but an acknowledgment of a particular aspect of what they do or how they do it. This could be something as small as, “I always appreciate how prepared you are for our meetings, particularly how you send me written questions in advance,” to larger things, “I work with a number of business owners and see how they interact with their employees and I notice you pay really good attention to the needs of each of your team members.” These are just examples. Have something that is about the person. It is important to human beings that we are known and understood – show your client you really know them.